A Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK) health worker met three-month-old Axel and his family when visiting homes in rural Guatemala, recruiting patients for a malnutrition program. Axel lives with his seven siblings and his parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. They are indigenous Maya, and have few educational and health care resources available to them. His mother works at home, cooking and cleaning and taking care of Axel and his siblings. His father is an assistant to a bricklayer, who makes only a couple dollars per day.
Axel’s malnutrition was so severe that the WK community health worker decided to give Axel a preliminary supply of formula until he could be evaluated by a nutritionist. He has been losing weight and has not grown taller since he was born because of frequent sicknesses, and could be at risk of seizures and diarrhea if he is unable to receive formula.
Axel’s mother has had trouble producing breast milk for all of her eight children– Axel being the youngest. For her other children, a sugary rice drink has helped them to stop crying and supplement the little breast milk she produces. Unfortunately for Axel, this has not been enough since her breast milk production has gone down even more.
Although lactational failure is a dangerous condition, it is simple to help supplement children’s nutrition to overcome this lack of maternal milk. For $1016, Axel will receive formula which will give him the protein, calories, and nutrients he needs to grow and thrive. His family will also receive motivational nutrition education, so they will be able to give Axel the best diet possible once he starts to eat solid foods.
This treatment will give Axel’s parents the tools to prevent future malnutrition and help their son have a full and healthy life. “I hope my son can grow healthy so he can be a good student,” shares Axel’s mother.