COATEPEQUE, Guatemala, June 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The banana grower and shipper, AgroAmerica, created a Center for Human Development (CHD) in south-western Guatemala in 2012, with the objective of improving the health of the families of the AgroAmerica workers and the communities close to their operations as well as the educational opportunities for their children. The CDH is a unique partnership that also includes a community advisory committee.
In that same year, AgroAmerica, through the "Fundación Integral para la Salud de los Guatemaltecos", signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Colorado to survey the community to determine the types of services needed and desired. This study "Health Needs and Human Development in South-Western Guatemala" (Dr. Stephen Berman and Dr. Edwin J. Asturias) helped to design and develop the infrastructure needed to implement these services. The infrastructure includes a family medical clinic, dental clinic, clinical laboratory, ambulance, pharmacy, and birthing center with ultrasound capacity. A community nursing program to improve maternal, neonatal and child outcomes was established and is functioning. In addition to Guatemalan staff, university physician residents in pediatrics, medicine, obstetrics and family medicine work regularly in the clinic.
"At AgroAmerica we are aware of the needs of the community and that is why we have invested more than $1.8 million dollars to give access to medical services at a low cost to more than 30,000 rural Guatemalan people", said Bernhard Roehrs, AgroAmerica Corporate Director.
The community programs for mothers and children – Healthy Mothers and Healthy Children are also part of the HDC programs. They aim to reduce malnutrition in the community, and to contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As of May 2017 1,063 pregnant women have been enrolled and received prenatal care. There have been 905 families enrolled in the "Healthy Children" program and mothers have participated in 7,580 nurse visits and mother child care groups.
"The CHD strives to integrate traditional medical care with mental health, nutritional, and educational services in ways that build local capacity, provide economic opportunities, and strengthen the community," said Stephen Berman, MD, FAAP, Director of the Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health.
For more information about AgroAmerica visit https://agroamerica.com/en
For more information about Center for Global Health, Colorado School of Public Health visit http://globalhealth.ucdenver.edu
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