Zuleina is an 11-month-old girl from Guatemala. She loves to eat papaya and scrambled eggs. She has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means she has little energy to grow, and her immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. She is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Zuleina began malnutrition treatment on October 27, 2016.
Zuleina lives with her family in a cinderblock house with a tin roof. Her father works as a bricklayer, and her mother weaves traditional Mayan textiles. While Zuleina’s parents want the best for their daughter, their resources are already stretched thin. They cannot afford to pay for Zuleina’s $512 treatment.
While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Zuleina 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 Zuleina a chance to grow healthy and strong.
“I am hoping for my daughter’s development to improve,” says her mother. “I want to see her in the future as a healthy student.” She also hopes that Zuleina graduates “so she can have better opportunities than we had.”