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

Ana
100%
  • $512 raised, $0 to go
$512
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Ana's treatment was fully funded on May 2, 2016.

Photo of Ana post-operation

January 9, 2017

Ana received successful malnutrition treatment.

Since beginning treatment, Ana has been consistently growing bigger and taller. She has a bigger appetite, and she is playing, running, and jumping. Ana will experience a boost in her cognitive and motor development, which will help her catch up developmentally with healthy children her age.

“May God shower blessings on you for all the help that you have given us so that my child could have better development,” says her mother. “Ana really needed the help.”

Since beginning treatment, Ana has been consistently growing bigger and taller. She has a bigger appetite, and she is playing, running, and ...

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April 20, 2016

Meet Ana, a 23-month-old girl from Guatemala. Ana and her four siblings live in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural mountainous community. She loves to play with her doll with her older siblings, and sing to her little brother.

Her parents are farmers, and they cultivate cabbage, cauliflower, and green beans which they sell at the market, and eat what does not sell. Although her parents work hard, they do not make enough money to support a healthy diet for Ana and need support to help her get well—they cannot afford to give her even one egg or piece of fruit per day.

Ana is not growing like she should because she has acute malnutrition. She is nearly three and a half standard deviations below the normal size for her age. This is because she has not had access to a healthy diet—her body has not gotten the protein, calories and nutrients that it needs to grow normally. Her energy is low, she has little appetite, and she has been getting sick more often than the other kids that live in the neighborhood—in the past two weeks alone she has had a fever and cough.

Diarrhea, cough, and fevers can be life-threatening for children like Ana, whose immune systems are weak due to their poor diet. Her mother is worried about her, since she has noticed that she is not growing as well as her older kids. In the long term, Ana could be at risk of stunted neurodevelopment, behavioral problems, and a greater risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

Growth monitoring, micronutrients, food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Ana gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. All of this can be accomplished with treatment, which costs $512. Treating her now will have a large impact—she will likely be able to reach developmental milestones just like healthy kids her age.

This treatment will strengthen her immune system, increase her overall caloric intake, and allow her to have more energy to play and learn. Her parents will receive the support they need to feel empowered to give her the diet she needs to grow and develop–they will receive intense and motivational nutrition classes to learn what, when, and how to feed Ana the best diet possible. This will help her start to develop better both physically and mentally, giving her the chance to live a healthy and productive life, escaping the cycle of malnutrition that is making her sick.

“I hope that one day she can graduate and become a teacher,” Ana’s mother shared.

Meet Ana, a 23-month-old girl from Guatemala. Ana and her four siblings live in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural mountainou...

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Ana's Timeline

  • April 20, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Ana was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • April 28, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Ana received treatment at Clinic Tecpán 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.

  • May 2, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Ana's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 2, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Ana's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 9, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Ana's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 25 donors

Funded by 25 donors

Treatment
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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.