The past two weeks we have been quite busy doing a variety of work. We have been working on the protocols of the Casa and other necessary paperwork, participating in educational classes, making improvements to the Casa, and we also have spent ample time with the municipality working on the legality process. It is a slow process and last week we took some steps backwards with some complications with the Centro de Salud, the organization from Spain who funded the construction of the clinic, and the municipality, but thankfully everything has been worked out and we continue to take steps forward in preparing the Casa. We were informed that the Centro de Salud will no longer be coming to occupy the first level of the clinic, so we are hopeful that the space will be granted to us!
Dr. Erika Close from Canada has been working in different parts of Guatemala over the past years teaching a program called Helping Babies Breathe, which is designed to help healthcare workers in low-resourse areas to help babies survive after birth. Upon finishing her classes, the healthcare workers receive an Ambu resuscitation mask. For Lesbia it has proven to save the lives of several babies so far. Dr. Erika has been and continues a huge support to the Casa with education and healthcare supplies. She came the first week of August and taught a three day class with us (our staff and those who are applying to be birthing assistants once we are open), teaching newborn resuscitation and care of the mother and baby postpartum.
Last week we had a class taught by Jes, the director of Saving Mothers Guatemala. We are so fortunate to have been able to join forces with them, so when we have classes her student midwives and our students and staff are able to join together and have a great learning experience. In this class we reviewed prenatal care and protocols in low-resource settings.
Last week our hand-made curtains were finally ready and they look beautiful! We are so thankful for our neighbor who worked so hard for weeks to make them so perfectly for us. Kennet spent hours getting covered in dust while drilling the whole and applying the hooks where our curtains now hang.
Last week Kennet also replaced the fluorescent lights with LED lights which are 90% more energy efficient. They were shipped to us all the way from Hong-Kong, and they look beautiful!
Today with Jes, Lesbia, and Merlyn, we held interviews for the birth assistant position that we are looking for. We interviewed six people today with a variety of experiences and talents in different areas, and we are thankful that we found someone with a lot of experience in material child care and is a paramedic. We are hoping in the future as the Casa grows and we have the finances, we will be able to employ more of these people who have talents that can help us and are in need of work.
-Continued funding so that our program can continue to grow and we can reach and employ more people
-Timely progress so that we can open in the right timing (specifically with the legal documentation that we need)
-Cordial relationship with the Centro de Salud, the Ministry of Health, the Municipality, and others with whom we are working and making efforts to collaborate with on this project
-Mutual understanding and respect between educators, families, and student healthcare providers