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Medical Clinics

With the support of Dr. Luis Alberto Letona Simons, ACOTCHI holds two ongoing weekly medical clinics, one in Tecpán and one in Comalapa. In 2006 789 patients were treated, approximately 250 more patients than the previous year. These clinics are free and open to all community members and focus on acute illnesses and preventative health. A majority of the patients treated are women and children. Complicated prenatal cases encountered by our midwives are also brought to these clinics for review by the physician.

Photos of our clinics in Tecpán and Comalapa

Low Cost Medications

ACOTCHI has successfully negotiated with several retailers in Guatemala City to purchase pharmaceuticals at very low cost and has therefore recently started a small pharmacy in their Comalapa location. Medicines are marked up only a small percentage to cover the costs of transportation and handling, and therefore the ACOTCHI pharmacy is an important source of crucial medicines, such as antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, and iron, and costs significantly below those of all the local retailers.

Training Sessions

ACOTCHI conducts midwife training sessions once per month in both of its current clinical sites of Tecpán and Comalapa. These sessions are conducted by experienced lay midwife staff and physician volunteers. Much of the midwifery material is drawn from the Hesperian Foundation’s excellent manual for lay midwives, although many other resources are also used. Here were a few of the training themes from last year:

  • The Nervous System
  • Clean Water and Diarrheal Illnesses
  • First Aid and Resuscitation
  • Protecting Community Water Sources
  • History of Traditional Midwifery
  • Major Causes of Maternal Mortality
  • Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology
  • Care of Bites, Burns, and Skin Wounds
  • Quality Prenatal Care

Photos from our training sessions

Literacy Training

Because ACOTCHI recognizes that a significant barrier to the development of the traditional midwife as a community and national leader is literacy, Spanish reading and writing classes are held weekly for affiliate midwives who lack this skill. Classes are conducted by trained and skilled volunteers associated with the project in both Tecpán and Comalapa.

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