Next Gen learns about HIV rates in Guatemala

February 16, 2010

By

Elizabeth M. Kiem

Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She is on a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation. Greetings from Guatemala! We arrived -- all fourteen of us Next Geners -- in Guatemala City safe and sound! We had a nice group dinner of typical Guatemalan food last night and went to bed early so that we could be refreshed for the early morning activities. We had our briefing at the UNICEF headquarters where we met all of the fabulous staff! And then had a security briefing to ensure that our stay in Guatemala is safe. Then we were off to see our first Unicef-funded program. We went to Roosevelt Hospital and visited their prenatal programs and emergency prenatal and birthing services. Unicef funds 40% of the program -- including funding for staff, training, supplies, food, drugs and vaccines, as well as testing for HIV, syphilis, and Hep B. We met the incredible doctors, social workers, nutritionists, psychologists and nurses who take care of all the patients. The vertical transmission rate of HIV is 0% when the clinic detects the disease during pregnancy (meaning HIV+ mothers are giving birth to completely healthy children thanks to this clinic). Transmission rate is 5% if the disease is discovered after birth (meaning the mothers didn't go to the clinic for prenatal care). That's compared to 30% if there is no prevention services. We met a beautiful woman with her son who said that she came to the clinic when she was 5 months pregnant and found out that she was HIV+. But through PMTCT services at the clinic she is happy to say that her son (now 3 years old) is negative! She said the clinic provides her with everything she needs to stay healthy. She is so grateful! She said "I first thank God and second, I thank the clinic. Me and my son are healthy and happy because of this clinic and these people. They are so nice to me here." Living proof that these services work! Now we are on a bus heading to Quetzaltenango, 5 hours away. And tomorrow we will wake up to breakfast with adolescents who are working to empower other kids to speak out about sexual violence and advocate on their behalf. Talk to you soon!

Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She is on a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation. Greetings from Guatemala! We arrived -- all fourteen of us Next Geners -- in Guatemala City safe and sound! We had a nice group dinner of typical Guatemalan food last night and went to bed early so that we could be refreshed for the early morning activities. We had our briefing at the UNICEF headquarters where we met all of the fabulous staff! And then had a security briefing to ensure that our stay in Guatemala is safe. Then we were off to see our first Unicef-funded program. We went to Roosevelt Hospital and visited their prenatal programs and emergency prenatal and birthing services. Unicef funds 40% of the program -- including funding for staff, training, supplies, food, drugs and vaccines, as well as testing for HIV, syphilis, and Hep B. We met the incredible doctors, social workers, nutritionists, psychologists and nurses who take care of all the patients. The vertical transmission rate of HIV is 0% when the clinic detects the disease during pregnancy (meaning HIV+ mothers are giving birth to completely healthy children thanks to this clinic). Transmission rate is 5% if the disease is discovered after birth (meaning the mothers didn't go to the clinic for prenatal care). That's compared to 30% if there is no prevention services. We met a beautiful woman with her son who said that she came to the clinic when she was 5 months pregnant and found out that she was HIV+. But through PMTCT services at the clinic she is happy to say that her son (now 3 years old) is negative! She said the clinic provides her with everything she needs to stay healthy. She is so grateful! She said "I first thank God and second, I thank the clinic. Me and my son are healthy and happy because of this clinic and these people. They are so nice to me here." Living proof that these services work! Now we are on a bus heading to Quetzaltenango, 5 hours away. And tomorrow we will wake up to breakfast with adolescents who are working to empower other kids to speak out about sexual violence and advocate on their behalf. Talk to you soon!

Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She is on a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation.

Greetings from Guatemala!

We arrived -- all fourteen of us Next Geners -- in Guatemala City safe and sound! We had a nice Guatemalan dinner and went to bed early so that we could be refreshed for the early morning activities.

The next morning we had our briefing at the UNICEF headquarters where we met all of the fabulous staff! And then had a security briefing to ensure that our stay in Guatemala is safe. Then we were off to see our first Unicef-funded program.

 

Young siblings met by Casey and Next Geners during a field trip to Guatamala last year.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009
Young siblings met by Casey and Next Geners during a field trip to Guatamala last year.

 

We went to Roosevelt Hospital and visited their prenatal programs and emergency prenatal and birthing services. Unicef funds 40% of the program -- including funding for staff, training, supplies, food, drugs and vaccines, as well as testing for HIV, syphilis, and Hep B. We met the incredible doctors, social workers, nutritionists, psychologists and nurses who take care of all the patients.

The vertical transmission rate of HIV is 0% when the clinic detects the disease during pregnancy (meaning HIV+ mothers are giving birth to completely healthy children thanks to this clinic). Transmission rate is 5% if the disease is discovered after birth (meaning the mothers didn't go to the clinic for prenatal care). That's compared to 30% if there is no prevention services. We met a beautiful woman with her son who said that she came to the clinic when she was 5 months pregnant and found out that she was HIV+. But through PMTCT services at the clinic she is happy to say that her son (now 3 years old) is negative! She said the clinic provides her with everything she needs to stay healthy. She is so grateful! She said "I first thank God and second, I thank the clinic. Me and my son are healthy and happy because of this clinic and these people. They are so nice to me here." Living proof that these services work! Now we are on a bus heading to Quetzaltenango, 5 hours away. And tomorrow we will wake up to breakfast with adolescents who are working to empower other kids to speak out about sexual violence and advocate on their behalf. Talk to you soon!

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