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

  • $512 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Rosa's treatment was fully funded on May 23, 2016.

Photo of Rosa post-operation

June 21, 2016

Rosa received treatment for acute malnutrition.

Since beginning treatment, Rosa’s health has been improving gradually. She has not only gained weight, she has also gotten taller. Before getting treatment, Rosa had a small appetite and her mother had a hard time getting her to eat. Now Rosa asks for more. Rosa’s mother has noticed that she plays for longer periods of time, and is getting sick much less. Her mother has also noticed that she has been developing mentally—she is now much more curious about the world around her and is interacting more with her family.

Although Rosa came down with diarrhea and fever recently, our medical team was quick to treat her, and now she is back to being a happy child. With continued treatment, she is on track to reach a healthy height and weight.

Her mother said, “I am very content. Thanks to the food and support that my daughter is receiving, my daughter is recovering.”

Since beginning treatment, Rosa’s health has been improving gradually. She has not only gained weight, she has also gotten taller. Before ge...

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December 1, 2015

Rosa is suffering from malnutrition and is far below the average height for her age and weight for age. Her family is extremely poor – her mother works embroidering blouses and selling them at market, but her father is an alcoholic and so he spends most of the little money her mother earns on alcohol. This has created a very difficult situation for Rosa’s mother who is spread thin both energetically and economically, trying to care for Rosa and her siblings (ages 4 years old and 2 years old). At the moment Rosa’s diet is all liquid – breast milk and coffee. She has not received any solid food partly because her mother was unaware that it is important to start introducing solid food at 6-months and does not have much money to buy enough food for her husband, children and herself. Rosa is already showing developmental delays - at 7 months she cannot yet sit on her own.

Rosa lives in an adobe mud house with her mother and siblings. Her father lives there too, but as an alcoholic he often sleep in the streets.

This treatment will supply Rosa with the growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication for her to recoup some of the weight and height she has lost, and increase her overall caloric intake. Her mother will receive intensive nutrition education thus building her confidence and ability to care for Rosa and her other children throughout their childhood. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Rosa the chance to live a healthy productive life.

Rosa is suffering from malnutrition and is far below the average height for her age and weight for age. Her family is extremely poor – her m...

Read more

Rosa's Timeline

  • December 1, 2015

    Rosa was submitted by Katia Cnop, Watsi Account Volunteer at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • December 8, 2015

    Rosa received treatment at Clinic Tecpán in Guatemala. 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.

  • May 20, 2016

    Rosa's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 23, 2016

    Rosa's treatment was fully funded.

  • June 21, 2016

    Rosa's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 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.