We visited the Ngäbe Buglé region. This indigenous region is the biggest and has the most population of the country, it also covers a territory that involves three provinces in Panama: Chiriquí, Veraguas and Bocas del Toro.
The so called “lagoons” of poverty the biggest in Panama are precisely located there. There are foreigner enterprises that are developing big scale hydroelectric projects, using the innumerable rivers, exporting electricity to neighbor countries, and the indigenous from the region, meaning the owners of those lands, do not count with electric light.
There in the high lands of the region we went with Barbara and we held encounters with the Ngäbes empiric midwifes and health staff assigned to those areas. We were in the Health Center of Hato Chamí the District of Nole Duima of the Nedriní Region.
We shared experiences and talked for hours with them, we saw videos of water births and natural births. We had to translate from English to Spanish and from Spanish to Ngäbe and vice versa.
We have to point out emphatically: that the traditions, the way of performing the deliveries, the bond between mother and child, childbirth and maternal breastfeeding of our Ngäbe Buglé population are perfect.
It’s extraordinary how the husband keeps her company and supports her during birth, the wisdom and peace of the midwife that accompanies the mothers.
The exchange was truthfully productive and exciting. Like Barbara Harper used to say, it is the language of infinite love that has no boundaries nor obstacles of any kind.
It profoundly caught our attention the support of the nurse assigned and all of the staff at the center.
It was an extraordinary experience.
The day after in David, Barbara Harper performed a magisterial conference in the Infirmary Faculty of the National University of Chiriquí.
In the conference participated approximately 80 students of obstetrician infirmary, were there´s a group of about 25 of them that are preparing to give support in the care of pregnant women in the Ngäbe Buglé region.
Literally it was a two hour presentation and exchange without anyone even blinking.
All of these show that we are moving forward. That the women in our country every day are more active in the defense of their rights to a natural and soft maternity, free of unnecessary interventions and respectful of the intimacy of the woman and her family.
We must thank the invaluable support of all the staff at the United Nations World Fund Population assigned to the Ngäbe Buglé region that performs an irreplaceable job.
Dr. Rodrigo Aybar