Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
School of Nursing
Costa Rica and Guatemala share similarities in history, culture, and a relatively congruous geopolitical philosophy. Yet despite these superficial parallels, access to prenatal care between the two countries is shockingly disparate. Costa Rican women have better access to prenatal care and both the maternal and infant mortality rates are comparable to more developed countries with significantly higher rates of economic development and higher spending on healthcare per capita. In juxtaposition, the lack of prenatal care within Guatemala’s health care system is a prime example of a country’s failure to implement protections and policies that promote and elevate the level of healthcare woman receive. Societal, economic, geopolitical, and systematic factors directly contribute in either subtracting or adding lives to the maternal and infant mortality rates in both countries. The successes that Costa Rica has had in reaching and administering prenatal healthcare to its most rural, diverse and vulnerable populations shows that this method could be an effective starting point for Guatemala to structure their own healthcare initiatives in the future to help prevent complications during pregnancy. While it is necessary to acknowledge that there are substantial differences between the countries – such as economic status and infrastructural complications – that significantly influence the governing bodies ability to provide prenatal care, some structural aspects that Costa Rica has established would be not only beneficial, but also attainable in the country of Guatemala.
Youngblood, Joanne Danae, "Availability Of & Access to Prenatal Care & The Effects On Maternal & Infant Mortality Rates: A Comparison of Central American Countries, Costa Rica & Guatemala" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 386.