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Success! Karla from Guatemala raised $512 for malnutrition treatment.

Karla
100%
  • $512 raised, $0 to go
$512
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Karla's treatment was fully funded on October 11, 2016.

Photo of Karla post-operation

January 12, 2017

Karla received successful malnutrition treatment.

Karla has been making huge strides in her growth since she started to receive treatment. She has nearly reached a normal height and weight for her age. She has not gotten sick since beginning treatment, and she now has more energy.

“Now my daughter is eating better than she did before,” says Karla’s mother. “She’s having five meals per day, just like I learned in the nutrition classes. I am appreciative of this support. It has been a great benefit to my daughter.”

Karla has been making huge strides in her growth since she started to receive treatment. She has nearly reached a normal height and weight f...

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August 17, 2016

Meet Karla, a nine-month-old girl from Guatemala. Karla is the youngest of three children in her family and lives with her parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. She enjoys playing with a soccer ball. Her mother works at home, cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children. Her father is a day laborer in the fields, who makes only a couple dollars per day.

Karla is below the average height and the average weight for her age due to malnutrition. She currently is not consuming enough calories and enough quality foods. As a result her physical growth is stunted, and we worry her mental growth will be stunted as well.

As a result of food insecurity and marginalization, indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. In addition to growth stunting, malnutrition can lead to lower IQ, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

$512 will fund the treatment Karla needs to address her nutritional deficit and improve her low energy and subsequent limited mental potential. This involves micronutrient and food supplementation, deworming medication to rid Karla of a parasitic infection, and nutrition education for her parents. With these combined efforts, Karla will recoup her weight and height and strengthen her immune system, laying the foundation for a healthier future.

Meet Karla, a nine-month-old girl from Guatemala. Karla is the youngest of three children in her family and lives with her parents in a one-...

Read more

Karla's Timeline

  • August 17, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Karla was submitted by Jessica Hawkins at Wuqu’ Kawoq.

  • August 17, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Karla received treatment at Clinic Panajachel 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.

  • September 8, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Karla's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 11, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Karla's treatment was fully funded.

  • January 12, 2017
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Karla's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 17 donors

Funded by 17 donors

Treatment
Acute Malnutrition
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $512 for Karla's treatment
Hospital Fees
$0
Medical Staff
$94
Medication
$152
Supplies
$0
Travel
$87
Other
$179
  • 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.

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Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.