The Legacy of Clementina: The Evolution of Maternal Care in Honduras

May 2023


lementina Mejía de La O, from the municipality of Camasca, is known in her community as an experienced and passionate traditional midwife. From a young age, she learned the secrets of maternal care from her mother, who was a respected midwife in the area. For many years, Mejía helped women in her community give birth at home, offering her expertise and knowledge to ensure that the childbirth process was as safe and comfortable as possible.

However, with the arrival of maternal medical clinics in the municipalities, the role of traditional midwives changed significantly.

"In this new approach, midwives have a key role in educating women about the importance of institutional childbirth and recognizing signs of childbirth risk to refer women to specialized medical services. We also assist them in the development of their birth plans." Expressed Mejía.

Clementina Mejía, midwife.
Clementina Mejía, midwife.

The Ministry of Health, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and funding from Global Affairs Canada, introduced The Knowledge Dialogues Methodology, which seeks to integrate the knowledge and skills of medical professionals and traditional midwives to improve maternal and neonatal care. Alongside other members of the local health team, Mejía participated in training and workshops to strength her knowledge and skills, and she became an active promoter of institutional maternal and neonatal care.

" I embrace these changes enthusiastically and remain as an important figure in the community."

Her experience and wisdom are still highly valued. Today, Mejía continues to be a respected figure in her community. Her legacy as a traditional midwife remains, but her role has evolved to adapt to the new needs and challenges of maternal and neonatal care. She recognizes the importance of training and educating new generations of volunteers. Her story is a testament to the importance of the application of the knowledge dialogues and the articulation between modern/western medicine and the traditional wisdom in promoting maternal and neonatal health.

More information about The Knowledge Dialogues Methodology