The Limits of Palliative Cancer Care in Guatemala

As cancer rates increase around the world, so does the need for palliative care in low- and middle-income countries.  The world’s poorest cancer patients tend to come to medical attention at advanced stages, when pain management represents the only therapeutic option.  The WHO advocates the development of palliative care programs in poor countries, describing that […]

Improving Midwife Training Programs: Indigenous Lay Midwives’ Recommendations from Guatemala

Reducing maternal mortality rates worldwide has been a major global health priority since the World Health Organization’s Safe Motherhood Initiative in 1987.  In many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), lay midwives, rather than biomedical personnel, attend the majority of births.  As such, for several decades, training programs for lay midwives have represented a major strategy […]

Fatalism, Cynicism, and Preventive Health: Thoughts from Guatemala

“The concept of prevention doesn’t exist in Guatemala,” a nurse named Delmi told me during a cervical cancer screening campaign in a rural village.  We had traveled an hour from the nearest town along dusty dirt roads to get to an elementary school, where Delmi set up shop in a small storage room whose walls […]