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December 2, 2008
Birth is deadly for Guatemalan women

Every minute, a woman dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Guatemala has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in Latin America, where death during childbirth is 20 times more likely than in the developed world.

The majority of deaths are preventable, with access to sufficient medical care — a challenge for many Guatemalans, particularly those in remote areas.

Worldfocus special correspondent Lynn Sherr reports from the mountain community of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where the “Casa Materna” center has helped 50,000 women and their children since opening — but tragedy lingers.

For more information on global maternal health, see below.


One of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals — a set of global goals to achieve by 2015 — is to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters.

Read about the state of maternal health in Latin American countries.

A chart, courtesy of PBS Wide Angle, details those countries with high and low rates of maternal mortality. Also, listen to public health experts discuss worldwide efforts to improve maternal care.

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thanks world focus For this real-jurnalism Thanks !!


is a very interesting documentary, Thank you for taking time to visit this beautiful case of Guatemala to the world … I’m from Guatemala, and I know many cases of where I am … thank you very much for the work of your team, to all who have written comments at all interested in helping women´s in Guatemala … God also thanked to you for taking care of each of the people you are helping … I currently live in Houston, and I am touched to see that these cases are still …again, thanks to everyone for your interest … hugs ..!!!


Dear Megan,

Thank you for this great story!! I wanted to let you know that the link you have posted above is not the correct “Casa Materna” and a program different than the clinic being operated by Project Concern International in Guatemala.

I am actually the Communications Manager for PCI and am just finishing up an updated brochure on Casa Materna. I would be happy to email it to you or any other interested in supporting our Casa Materna program. Please let me know at

Thanks to all!


What a great documentary — this is such an important topic to discuss. It is a crime that so many women die during pregnancy when these deaths are preventable. Thank you for shedding light on this important issue.
– Janna


Hi there:

This is Megan, producer of the story on the Casa Materna in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Thank you so much for watching the story, and for your concern about the women of Guatemala!

The Casa Materna in Huehuetenango is funded in part by Project Concern, an American non-profit ( In addition, The Population Council, with whom we worked to produce this story, is working to improve health care for indigenous and rural women across Guatemala. ( Please visit these organizations’ web sites, or give them a call, for more information on how you can help.

Again, thank you for tuning in!



Please provide contact information for Casa Materna in Guatemala, I will like to help.


Hi, how can I help Casa Materna in Guatemala?

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