Axel is a three-month-old baby from a Mayan community in Guatemala. He lives with his siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof and dirt floor. His mother works at home, cooking and cleaning, and him father works as a bricklayer, only receiving an income on days when there is work.
Axel’s mother cannot produce sufficient breast milk for her child and cannot afford formula as a substitute, leaving Axel malnourished. She thought that her son looked normal, and did not realize how underweight he was. She has been giving him boiled water with sugar in it to make him stop crying. As a result, Axel is failing to meet normal growth markers and is far below the average height and the average weight for his age—he is still the size of a newborn.
At such a young age, malnutrition is dangerous. Lactation failure can lead to the child becoming starving, dehydrated, and provoke electrolyte imbalances that can cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time is compromised and the baby is at risk of long term damage.
Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Axel will receive the calories he needs to grow and thrive. We can provide this life-saving treatment for $1107.
One-on-one education with Axel’s mother will prepare her for when he needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Axel’s immune system will strengthen and he will grow up to be a healthy and energetic baby.