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Success! Dariana from Guatemala raised $535 to treat acute malnutrition.

  • $535 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Dariana's treatment was fully funded on December 1, 2015.

Photo of Dariana post-operation

February 19, 2016

Dariana received successful treatment for malnutrition.

“Since beginning treatment, Dariana now has much more energy to play with her favorite toy, her small stuffed bunny. Not only does she have more energy but each time that our medical team weighed and measure her she was bigger–although she’s improving gradually it’s great that she has managed to continue to follow a positive growth trajectory,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq. “Her mother has been excited to learn about nutrition and has been applying what she is learning to all of her children’s diets. Now Dariana is on the road to reaching a normal height and weight, and having normal mental development which will help her be successful when she’s older.”

“I appreciate the help that you have given my daughter, it has been a huge benefit to me,” her mother shares. “I have seen her improve and I look forward to seeing her continue to grow well. I want to see her always happy, playing with her siblings.”

"Since beginning treatment, Dariana now has much more energy to play with her favorite toy, her small stuffed bunny. Not only does she have ...

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November 16, 2015

Meet Dariana, a 14-month-old girl from Guatemala. The youngest and the only girl among three older brothers, Dariana is the baby of her family. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us, “She loves to play with a stuffed animal given to her by her oldest brother.”

“She is overall a happy child, but her height and weight for her age are both extremely low,” says WK. Dariana’s father, who works as a laborer, does not earn enough to sufficiently feed each of the children. As the youngest child, Dariana is given the least amount of food. Additionally, an incident with an expired vaccine six months ago left her appetite and energy levels low. Given these circumstances, WK tells us, “She is hitting developmental milestones later than normal.”

Childhood malnutrition has major effects on the developing brain. Research shows that stunted children have a lower IQ and consequently less economic potential in adulthood. Without intervention, Dariana will be at risk of these long term effects. “Her immune system will continue to weaken and her weight will continue to drop,” adds WK.

With $535, Dariana will be enrolled into WK’s recuperative nutrition program, where she will receive growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication. Her parents will undergo nutrition education to better care for Dariana and their future children. With these measures, Dariana will have the chance to live a healthy, productive life.

Meet Dariana, a 14-month-old girl from Guatemala. The youngest and the only girl among three older brothers, Dariana is the baby of her fami...

Read more

Dariana's Timeline

  • November 16, 2015

    Dariana was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • November 18, 2015

    Dariana received treatment at Clinic Miller. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • December 01, 2015

    Dariana's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 01, 2015

    Dariana's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 19, 2016

    Dariana's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 29 donors

Acute Malnutrition
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Children generally face stunted physical growth, delayed mental and motor development, low appetite, and frequent illness. Malnourished children have weakened immune systems that put them at risk of diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illnesses. This treatment treats growth failure in small children usually under 2 years of age. The most common form of growth failure in children in Guatemala is called stunting. This is a form of malnutrition where weight is relatively normal but height is severely reduced.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Stunting has major effects on the developing brain. Stunted children have low IQ and they don’t make major developmental milestones. These effects persist into adulthood, where they impact schooling and economic potential. Furthermore, stunting contributes to the development of serious adult illness like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Indigenous Guatemalans are one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the world. They live in rural areas and suffer from high rates of food insecurity. The poorest indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Children enrolled in our recuperative nutrition program receive about 1-4 months of intensive intervention, depending on the severity of the case. All of this care is delivered in the home in a personalized fashion. Most require a basic laboratory evaluation to look for thyroid disease, anemia, and intestinal infections. Acute infections are rapidly treated with antibiotics. Then a specialized case manager and nutritionist make weekly or every other week educational and health monitoring visits to the home. An assessment of food insecurity is conducted using standardized instruments and food is often provided to help bolster acute recovery. Micronutrient supplementation is provided.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

This treatment saves brains. Appetite and growth and developmental milestones recover, and height begins to rise once again. The immediate outcome is improved overall child health, including reduced vulnerability to severe infections. The long term outlook is improved cognitive potential, school completion, and economic prospects. Nearly 100% of children will experience improve appetite, energy, and development. At least 75% of children will have noticeable improvement in growth parameters. The effects of the intervention extend to other children in the home; since the approach is highly educational, parents learn how to care for other children and prevent this from occurring subsequently.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, and no risks for treatment exists.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Treatment for malnutrition is incredibly inaccessible in Guatemala. Populations are rural and don’t have access to intensive nutritional intervention and education. Public sector approaches are too low intensity to make a difference for these children.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no real alternatives to our program. Many organizations and governmental entities provide basic preventative care, but once a child is already malnourished these approaches are no longer effective. Most children fail prevention and therefore need our help.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.