Two-month-old Gregorio lives with his parents and older sibling in Guatemala.
“Gregorio is acutely malnourished due to his mother’s lack of breast milk,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “His mother is not able to produce enough breast milk for him to survive, meaning that he weighs even less than when he was born.”
While Gregorio’s mother takes care of the children during the day, his father leaves their home early every morning to chop wood on the mountain and sell it in town. Despite the long hours of hard work, his father earns very little money and can afford only very basic foods like tortillas. As a result, the family is unable to buy formula for Gregorio.
“Gregorio’s mother has been supplementing the little milk she makes with water, which depletes Gregorio’s electrolytes and puts him at risk of seizures and permanent brain damage,” WK continues.
The inability to produce breast milk—known as lactational failure—is a serious condition for a newborn baby without access to formula. Fortunately, treatment for Gregorio is possible. “Formula will give Gregorio the nutrients, calories, and protein he needs to grow,” WK explains, “His mother will receive one-on-one motivational nutrition education to prepare her to give him solid foods and teach her how to prevent future malnutrition.”
$1,016 pays for a one year’s supply of formula and six months of micronutrient support for Gregorio. Funding also covers the cost of a case manager and a nutritionist to help Gregorio’s mother coordinate his care, plan his meals, and monitor his progress.
With treatment, “Gregorio’s immune system will grow stronger, saving his life and helping his family to be much less stressed economically,” says WK.