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Success! Iker from Guatemala raised $512 to treat acute malnutrition.

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Iker's treatment was fully funded on March 6, 2016.

Photo of Iker post-operation

April 3, 2016

Iker received successful malnutrition treatment.

“Since beginning treatment, Iker’s health has been improving significantly,” reports our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “He has gained weight and gotten taller—not only is he following the growth curve, but he is catching up to healthy kids his age.” As a result of his treatment, Iker’s mother has noticed that Iker is starting to reach the developmental milestones, like standing and walking, that he wasn’t able to reach before.

WK believes that if Iker continues with this treatment, he should be “on track to reach a healthy height and weight.”

Iker’s mother is very thankful for all of the help that her son has received. “I am so content and appreciative for the help we have received,” she said. “Since our boy has been part of this program he has recovered so well.”

"Since beginning treatment, Iker’s health has been improving significantly," reports our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). "He has gained w...

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December 1, 2015

Iker is a playful, 10-month-old baby boy who lives with his parents and older brother in an adobe house in Guatemala. Iker enjoys eating fruit, bananas being his favorite, and he eats eggs and beans whenever his parents can buy them.

Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us that because of this limited access to the nutritious food he needs, Iker is living with malnutrition. “His height and weight are far below the average for his age, and he is lagging developmentally behind his peers.”

Along with the lack of hearty and nutritional food, his condition is amplified by a gastrointestinal disease that has “prevented this little boy from absorbing the nutrients necessary to grow.” WK shares. “Without intervention, this will then affect Iker’s ability to build a strong immune system, thus increasing his susceptibility to other illnesses.”

$512 pays for a thorough diagnostic work and treatment for Iker. A deworming medication will help his ability to absorb the micronutrient supplementation he will receive. “His immune system will strengthen, and his energy will increase,” WK adds. “Over time, he will be able to recoup the weight and height he has lost, and catch up to his more healthy peers.”

His family will also be paired with a nutritionist that will help plan meals and monitor his growth. “In this program, his mother will receive intensive nutrition education that will give her skills to purchase nutrient dense food options and prepare healthier meals.”

His mother shares: “Without this, I am not sure my little Iker would be able to get better.”

Iker is a playful, 10-month-old baby boy who lives with his parents and older brother in an adobe house in Guatemala. Iker enjoys eating fru...

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Iker's Timeline

  • December 1, 2015

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

  • December 09, 2015

    Iker received treatment at Clinic Tecpán. 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.

  • January 08, 2016

    Iker's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 06, 2016

    Iker's treatment was fully funded.

  • April 03, 2016

    Iker's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 11 donors

Funded by 11 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.