“Jennifer is another twin! We’ve recently had a run of twins in our malnutrition program,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, writes. “This may seem like an accident, but it also really highlights the kinds of factors that lead to malnutrition. All children and families where we work in Guatemala are vulnerable to malnutrition and illness, and usually it just takes one small thing to push a child over the edge. In this case, the ‘one small thing’ is the family, with limited food resources, having to provide for two babies simultaneously.”
“The results, as in the case of Jennifer,” her doctor continues, “are low weight and height, developmental delay (not sitting, standing, walking, talking on time), chronic low energy, and frequent illnesses (intestinal infections, colds, coughs, pneumonias).”
“Jennifer is a ‘very serious child’ by her mom’s admission - and also based on the photos you will see! However, she is very pleasant and does enjoy playing with her brothers and sisters. However, recently, as the child has gotten more ill, mom notices less energy for play. The family is very cash-strapped and food insecure, and they are struggling to make ends meet.”
For $535, Jennifer will receive a rehabilitative nutritional program to provide her with the nutrients and hydration she needs to return to full health and hit her developmental milestones. With this treatment, not only will Jennifer gain weight and grow, she will have improved speech and social interaction, and once again have the energy to play with her siblings!