Kenedy’s mother shares, “I want my baby to grow big so he can study to be a veterinarian.”
Her 12-month-old son, Kenedy, has acute malnutrition. He is nearly four standard deviations below a healthy height for his age. Ever since he was born prematurely, he has had a hard time growing. He has been getting diarrhea and fevers almost every week, a life-threatening situation for such a young infant. And in the long term, if he does not receive treatment soon, Kenedy could face long-term effects such as a low IQ, increased risk of chronic disease, and low earning potential as an adult.
Kenedy lives in Guatemala with his parents and his three siblings. His oldest sister, who is nine, takes care of him, while his mother cooks and cleans around the house. Kenedy loves to crawl, and smiles every time somebody talks to him. His father works as a day laborer, making only a couple dollars per day—barely enough to buy basic foods like tortillas. This means Kenedy’s diet typically does not include even one fruit, vegetable, or egg per day.
But for $512, we can change that. Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Kenedy recover from malnutrition–saving his life now and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. With this added sustenance, his immune system will grow more robust, allowing his body and brain to develop instead of using every last calorie to combat his frequent illnesses.
Furthermore, this funding will also provide his parents with several sessions of nutritional counseling. This will empower them to give Kenedy the diet he needs within their budget.
Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Kenedy the chance to live a healthy and productive life. His mother tells us, “I am very appreciative for the support that my son will receive, I know that he will get better and grow well.”