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

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Jose's treatment was fully funded on April 10, 2016.

Photo of Jose post-operation

September 8, 2016

Jose received successful treatment for acute malnutrition.

Jose has gained weight and grown taller since beginning treatment, putting him closer to reaching a normal size for his age. His mother is very appreciative for the food supplements her son receives because she now feels like she is able to help her son be healthy. His mother says that every time she makes him a meal now, Jose gets excited–before, he would hardly eat. Now, Jose has more energy, has a bigger appetite, and plays for longer periods of time. Jose is now on track to have a healthy childhood and avoid the long-term consequences of malnutrition.

“I am appreciative for the support that my son is receiving,” Jose’s mother shared. “I now see it is necessary for my son to have better development.”

Jose has gained weight and grown taller since beginning treatment, putting him closer to reaching a normal size for his age. His mother is v...

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March 16, 2016

Two-year-old Jose lives with his four siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala. He is curious and happy, and he will play with anything he sees. His father has an inconsistent income as a day worker, and his mother takes care of the household. His parents do not have the resources to give him the healthy and nutritious foods he needs.

“Jose is malnourished,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), shares, “meaning that he is far below a healthy height and weight for his age. He has not had access to the protein, calories, and nutrients that he needs to grow normally. Jose could be at risk of stunted neurodevelopment, difficulty focusing, and a greater risk of chronic diseases.”

$512 will cover the cost of the treatment Jose needs to get back on a positive growth trajectory. “Growth monitoring, food supplements, and deworming medication will help Jose gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age,” WK explains, “Treating him now will have a large impact—he will likely be able to reach developmental milestones. This will help him start to develop better both physically and mentally, giving him the chance to live a healthy and productive life, escaping the cycle of poverty and malnutrition that is making him sick.”

Jose’s mother will also receive nutrition classes to learn how to provide Jose with the best diet possible. “This is going to help us a lot, because we have so few resources,” his mother said.

Two-year-old Jose lives with his four siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala. He is curious and happy, and he will play...

Read more

Jose's Timeline

  • March 16, 2016

    Jose was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq, our medical partner in Guatemala.

  • March 16, 2016

    Jose received treatment at Clinic Tecpán. 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.

  • April 07, 2016

    Jose's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 10, 2016

    Jose's treatment was fully funded.

  • September 08, 2016

    Jose's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

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.