The Chilcapamba–McGill Partnership: Exploring Access to Maternal and Newborn Care in Indigenous Communities of Ecuador
Abstract

Abstract:

Background: Based on a participatory research (PR) partnership between Family Medicine at McGill University, Canada and the Andean community of Chilcapamba, Ecuador, a medical student study focused on maternal and newborn health.

Objectives: To evaluate the access to maternal and newborn care and the occurrence of intrafamilial violence in women with children 5 years of age or less in three indigenous communities of Ecuador.

Methods: A semistructured survey explored the perinatal and intrapartum care as well as intrafamilial violence.

Results: All women (N = 30) received prenatal care, 29 received postnatal care from a physician and 77% gave birth at the hospital. Eighty percent of women experienced intrafamilial violence; 73% reported psychological and 53% physical violence.

Conclusions: There is good access to maternal and newborn health care, although the reported level of violence is high. Results were shared with the community and will be used in a local community health worker (CHW) training program. Our project highlights the importance of PR to investigate sensitive health challenges.