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

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Anderson's treatment was fully funded on December 31, 2015.

Photo of Anderson post-operation

April 21, 2016

Anderson received treatment for acute malnutrition.

“I am so content that my son is finally growing and eating well,” shares Anderson’s mother.

“Since beginning treatment, Anderson’s health has been improving significantly. He has gained weight and gotten taller. His mother has noticed that he has more energy now, and has been exploring more of the world around him, especially now that he can walk,” explains his doctor at Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK).

“Anderson’s mother is working hard to apply all of her knowledge from the nutrition classes she is receiving and is hopeful for the future,” continues WK. “His mother is especially thrilled that Anderson has not gotten sick in the past two months—now that his immune system is stronger, he can now use that energy to grow bigger and taller instead of fighting off frequent sicknesses.”

"I am so content that my son is finally growing and eating well," shares Anderson's mother. "Since beginning treatment, Anderson’s healt...

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December 16, 2015

“I hope my Anderson will grow well and he will get sick hardly ever in the coming years,” says the mother of Anderson, a 21-month-old baby from Guatemala. According to our medical partner Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), “Anderson lives in a small adobe and wood house with his brother and parents. Anderson’s brother loves to play soccer with him and teach him how to kick the ball. Together they organize their toys and help their mom by cleaning up the trash around the house.”

Anderson is acutely malnourished. WK says, “He is frequently sick with diarrhea and fevers. Without intervention…he will be stunted both physically and mentally and will be at increased risk of the long-term effects of malnutrition. His mother wants to help in any way she can, but she told our staff that she currently does not feel she has the economic means or the education to do so.”

For $512, Anderson can receive treatment for his acute malnourishment. Children enrolled in WK’s recuperative nutrition program receive several months of intensive intervention, which includes an evaluation for thyroid disease, anemia, and intestinal infections and weekly monitoring visits to the home by doctors. Anderson will also receive food supplements to reintroduce essential micronutrients into his diet.

To prevent the issue from recurring, WK will enroll Anderson’s mother in an intensive nutrition course, teaching her how to provide healthy food within their family’s means. “Although Anderson’s family wants to provide him with all the tools necessary to live a healthy life, they are currently unsure how to do so and lack sufficient resources…The education will give Anderson’s mother the tools they need to continue providing nutrition to their child after treatment is complete,” says WK.

“This intervention will prevent Anderson for suffering from the long term effects of malnutrition. He will overcome his fever and will have the support needed to reach his full mental and physical potential, thus giving him the capacity to concentrate well and fulfill his mother’s wish of going far in school.”

“I hope my Anderson will grow well and he will get sick hardly ever in the coming years,” says the mother of Anderson, a 21-month-old baby f...

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Anderson's Timeline

  • December 16, 2015

    Anderson was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • December 23, 2015

    Anderson received treatment at Clinic Panajachel in Guatemala. 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 31, 2015

    Anderson's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 31, 2015

    Anderson's treatment was fully funded.

  • April 21, 2016

    Anderson's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 7 donors

Funded by 7 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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William is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He is a married man with twelve children. Some of his oldest children are married while others are still in school. William and his family live in a semi-permanent house. He has been a long-term potato farmer who has been growing them mainly for sale. His family has worked on their farm and it has contributed a lot to their income. Through the limited income William makes, he has been able to provide for his children's basic needs. William has medical insurance that he has been using throughout all his visits for inpatient and outpatient services for his medical procedures. In May 2019, when William was walking along the road, he was hit by a motorbike and he fell down, thus injuring his lower limb. Immediately, he was taken to a facility where he was admitted and surgery was done.  All was well up to last year when he started feeling unwell and decided to visit our partner's hospital. He presented with a lot of pain, he had a wound that was discharging pus, and his affected limb was swollen. An x-ray was recommended and it found that he had a non-union on his fractured bone and he had to be admitted for hardware removal, as it was already infected. He went to the operating theater for infected hardware removal and antibiotic nailing was done in order to treat his infection.  Since the nail was not stable, a patella tendon-bearing cast was applied in order to immobilize his non-united fracture. He has been in and out of the hospital for frequent check-ups, change of dressing, and casts. The wound has not improved and at some time after the antibiotic nailing, he went to the operating room for debridement and vacuum-assisted closure of the wound to help in healing and daily dressing change has been done in a health facility near his home. He also suffered eye problems in between and can barely see at the moment. On Monday when he came for review, his wound was not well and had a foul smell. His hardware needs to be removed, the non-union has to be taken down and an ORIF procedure will be done for stability. He was prepared for admission, but then it was realized that he had exhausted his inpatient insurance limit. In order to save his leg, it is vital to perform the surgery immediately. William has no alternative way of paying for his procedure, which is very complex. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. When treated, William will be able to walk normally and he will continue with farming to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this medical care. William says, "Spending most of the time in the hospital has been quite challenging. I cannot work or supervise my work as I did before because of my fractured limb. I am really looking forward to getting better in order to stabilize my family again. Please help me."

56% funded

$503to go

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.