Jonathan is a 16-month-old boy, and the second child in his family. He lives with his family a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His father works as an assistant bricklayer, and his mother works at home taking care of him and his siblings, as well as cooking and cleaning. Although they both want nothing but the best for their son, with only a couple dollars per day to live on, they cannot afford to give him even one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day.
As a result, Jonathan is suffering from malnutrition. This is because his parents cannot afford to give him a healthy diet, which means his body lacks the calories, nutrients, and protein it needs to grow and be healthy. His mother says that he is almost always sick and never has an appetite. If he does not receive treatment, Jonathan could face the consequences of malnutrition for the rest of his life—he could have a low IQ, trouble focusing in school, and a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as an adult.
Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Jonathan recover from malnutrition. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to gain motor skills and learn new words instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses.
Jonathan’s mother will also receive the support she need to feel empowered to give Jonathan the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily, even with limited resources. Intervention now will give Jonathan the chance to live a healthy and productive life and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.