Community Education and Prenatal Care
NPH Honduras takes the lead in providing prenatal care information to the surrounding communities.
June 6, 2018 - Honduras
Through working with local leaders in neighboring communities and young adults in our NPH home, NPH Honduras is leading the way on a community health initiative to increase knowledge about prenatal care.
“It (health education related to prenatal care) is getting better, but there are still a lot of bad science and rumors out there. We are trying to get to the heart of it” explains Carmen, the employee in charge of youth development programs for NPH Honduras.
Honduras is making progress in helping future parents prepare give birth to children, as prenatal care rates have risen from 82% to 96% to date. (1) However, there are still many issues facing families planning their future.
Honduras has the highest adolescent birthrate in Central America, at 137 births for every 1,000 15-19-year-olds in 2006. Additionally, there are continued health disparities between socioeconomic status for women considering having a child. (2)(3)
“We saw a problem in the community, and we wanted to help,” explains Dora Lemus, the director of Family Services at NPH Honduras.
NPH Honduras hosted five workshops between February and June of 2018. The Foundation of WAAL, a Dutch NGO focused on improving lives of children in developing countries, provided the information through their prevention of disabilities program. The education focuses on the concept of 3 + 9 = 12; or that nine months of pregnancy should follow three months of planning and healthy living. The talks outlined which vitamins and nutrients a child needs to be healthy.
“This program is consistent with NPH values in that it seeks to help the community. This program teaches our children and leverages the trust these communities have in their leaders to help spread the word,” Carmen continues.
The program focused on three main groups. The young adults living at NPH, NPH employees, and leaders from the surrounding communities.
Six adolescents from NPH Honduras participated in the program as well. The focus of the their educational program was on understanding of sexual rights and the prevention of unplanned pregnancy. “We tried to impress upon them that pregnancy is not to be taken lightly. The program helped the children understand that disabilities that people are born with can be a result of how they grow during their mother’s pregnancy,” explains Dora.
Twenty-eight individuals graduated from the program with the intention that they will bring this information to their communities. The community leaders are adults and adolescences identified for the impact and reach they have within their home communities.
“We believe this program will directly help those participating, but the real value is in the multiplying effect. Each leader here at the event will be able to explain what they have learned to others” Carmen explains. In agreement, Dora concludes, “There are women and men in the workshop that run programs or business in their communities. They are respected and will be listened to, which is the whole point of the program”.
(1):https://tradingeconomics.com/honduras/pregnant-women-receiving-prenatal-care-percent-wb-data.html (2):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17152658 (3):https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21696326
*Names changed for privacy purposes