Ikiama Nukuri Conducts New Advanced Training Workshop

April 11, 2024 | By The Pachamama Alliance

Ikiama Nukuri's Community Health Workers presenting on the dangers of infection during miscarriages.
Photo by Fundación Pachamama

From February 21st to March 1st, in the Amazon community of Taisha, Fundación Pachamama's maternal and infant health program, Ikiama Nukuri, conducted a new advanced level workshop with 20 Shuar and Achuar women who are local midwives called Community Health Workers (CHWs).

To combat high levels of maternal and infant mortality in Achuar and Shuar Indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest, the Ikiama Nukuri team innovates in education with the development of teaching materials, optimizing learning on essential topics, and distributes safe birthing kits. 

The team has created a series of training workshops: introduction to midwifery, strengthening and training, and advanced midwifery. This advanced workshop was created using a new and more in depth curriculum and this training session was the first time it was offered.

These workshops strengthen the capacities for CHWs so they can attend births and provide prenatal and postpartum care for women and children in their communities. Achuar and Shuar women have a long history of their own birthing practices. These women are filled with ancestral knowledge and the workshops only reinforce what they already know, honoring multicultural health over anything and bridging ancestral medicine with modern medicine when necessary. 

The group of 20 Shuar and Achuar women attending the workshop had already completed levels 1 and 2.

This advanced workshop covered topics including:

  • ESAMYN standards (National Healthcare standards to reduce reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity)
  • Humanized childbirth
  • Management of post-term pregnancy
  • Hemorrhage care
  • Prevention and early detection of breast cancer 
  • Breech delivery
  • Perinatal infection
  • The approach to miscarriage

IMG_4155-1Veronica Yunkar, Estela Canelos, Berta Tivo, and Lidia Chumap practicing the delivery of a baby. Photo by Fundación Pachamama

During the workshop, 147 safe birthing kits were distributed containing: baby clothes, soap, a candle, umbilical cord thread, gloves, towels, underwear for the mother, a shawl, and birthing pads.

The midwives also received many materials to use in their practices including: stethoscopes, thermometers, measuring tapes, a Pinard fetoscope, and blood pressure monitors.

Ensuring Continued Access to Maternal and Infant health 

The CHWs who participated in this workshop will go through a final evaluation stage where they will complete tests and graduate from the 3 level workshops. In the future, the graduates will have the option to participate in a new workshop of continuing education every 1 or 2 years in order to refresh past learnings and acquire new skills. 

This also makes way for the next group of CHWs who are part of the program. They will go through the 3 levels of training and then move onto continuing education workshops as well.

Presently, Ikiama Nukuri collaborates with 100% of Achuar associations and 50% of Shuar associations with 63 active Community Health Workers, creating a network that is spread over a territory of 2,000,000.00 hectares. Over the course of one year, 20 CHWs will complete all 3 levels of workshops. Within 3 years, all 63 CHWs will have graduated from the comprehensive program. This accomplishment will empower the Ikiama Nukuri team to extend their reach into more Shuar territory, being one step closer to reaching the program's goal: ensuring access to maternal and infant health services in 100% of Achuar territory and 100% of Shuar territory.