Virginia is a five-month-old baby girl living in rural Guatemala. She was born to a single mother who stays home to care for her. Unfortunately, Virginia’s mother cannot produce breast milk, which has made it difficult for Virginia to receive the nourishment that she needs in her early months of life.
Because of this, Virginia was recently diagnosed with malnutrition, a condition that occurs from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Virginia has little energy to grow, and that her immune system is weak, leaving her vulnerable to diseases that could further compromise her growth. If left untreated, she may also face the long-term consequences of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic illness and a lowered IQ.
Concerned for her well-being, her mother took Virginia to our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, for treatment. Beginning June 13, Virginia will receive micronutrients, formula, and food supplementation, as well as regular growth monitoring. Community health workers will also teach her mother how to create a nutrient rich diet using limited resources. The $1,162 requested will cover all expenses of her continued treatment, allowing her to gain weight, strengthen her immune system, and catch up with other children her age.
Virginia’s mother says, “I am scared because I do not have breast milk to give my daughter, and we are of scarce resources so I cannot afford to buy her much. I dream to see my daughter grow up well so that she can study and in the future become a teacher.”