Zoila is 13 months old and lives with her family in rural Guatemala. She has been diagnosed with malnutrition, a dangerous condition resulting from a diet with too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Zoila has little energy to grow, and her immune system is weak, leaving her vulnerable to illness. Without adequate nutrition, she will also be at risk of long-term consequences, such as developmental delays or chronic disease. Fortunately, she is scheduled to begin treatment on January 19.
Zoila likes playing with her rattle and eating papaya. Her father works in agriculture, and her mother takes care of the household. While Zoila’s parents work hard to provide for their family, they cannot afford their daughter’s treatment. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is requesting $437 to fund Zoila’s treatment.
While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Zoila recover. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age, and her immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach her mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Zoila a chance to grow healthy and strong.
“I want my daughter to study,” says her mother, “so that in the future, she will have a good profession.”