Our pilot study took place from 2007 to 2012 in Guerrero state, Mexico
Indigenous fieldworkers interviewed people for the 2008 baseline and the 2012 follow-up
We built tradtional birth centres as part of the intervention
At birth centres, traditional midwives attend to pregnant women and train new midwives
We trained indigenous community health promoters to support traditional midwives
The study showed that women can safely give birth without giving up their traditions

Indigenous newborns surviving in cultural safety

Throughout the Americas, maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity among indigenous peoples is higher than in the overall population. Mainstream policies and programs encourage indigenous women to deliver in hospitals and clinics, with little regard for their traditions and cultural values.

The Safe Birth in Cultural Safety initiative draws on both indigenous and biomedical knowledge and practices to improve maternal and newborn health without disrupting indigenous cultures. The pilot study took place in Nancue Ñomndaa (Amuzgo) communities of Xochistlahuaca (Xochis), a rural indigenous community in Guerrero state, Mexico. The results show that women can safely give birth without having to give up their traditions in the process. We hope to demonstrate, through a larger trial in different regions of Mexico and Colombia, that this culturally respectful way of doing things can be of use in indigenous settings across Latin America.


Impact on people's lives

Abraham De Jesús' clinical practice changed as a result of our project.
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What do the numbers say?

We carried out the follow-up survey for the pilot study.
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Intercultural medical school

Evidence from our project feeds into this pioneering effort in Mexico.
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Traditional birth centres

Safe Birth in Cultural Safety

Follow-up survey and results