Diego is a 23-month-old baby from Guatemala who lives with his parents and siblings in a rented one-room house. Diego loves to play ball with his neighbors. His mother works at home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children as well as looking for firewood to sell in the market. His father is a day laborer in the fields.
Diego’s mother has been worried since she has noticed that her son has not been wanting to eat, preventing him from growing like he should. This is because the diet his parents can afford for him lacks protein, calories, and nutrients, leaving him malnourished.
If he does not receive treatment, malnutrition could cause permanent consequences such as a low IQ, trouble focusing in school, and a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as an adult. Although his parents work hard, they do not have the resources to feed him even one vegetable, piece of fruit, or egg—the minimum that he needs to reach a healthy height and weight.
For $512, we can treat Diego’s malnutrition with a combination of food supplements, deworming medication and growth monitoring. This will allow him to gain weight, grow taller and resume normal development for a child his age. His mother will also receive nutrition education so she can help her son remain well-fed and healthy in spite of limited resources.
Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Diego the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.