Organization: Wuku' Kawoq - Maya Health Alliance
Determinants of Health: The Role of Small Non-Governmental Organisations in The Delivery of Maternal Health Care Services in Highland Guatemala
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are the main providers of health care in rural Guatemala and offer a viable alternative to state services. Examining how small NGOs fit into this complex health system and how and what they offer in terms of health care services is the focus of this study. Twenty-two interviews with NGO and public health care staff, midwives and mothers were conducted in Highland Guatemala and the collected data compared and contrasted contracted and independent NGO approaches to maternal health care. The findings of this study reveal that small health NGOs play an important role performing the responsibilities of the state and often offer the only health care available to rural communities. Contracted NGOs offer a minimum of health services in areas that the state and independent NGOs are unable to access and mothers will travel to independent NGOs for fast, quality, respectful and affordable health care.