Program Guatemala Story: Elda Marina (2)

Name: Elda Marina

Age:2

Program Results: Since Elda started with the Wuku’ Kawoq nutrition program she eats more and is stronger. Before she would sleep half the day, but now she sleeps less and has more energy to play.

Since starting to take Chispitas (micronutrients), Julio plays more! He used to not have energy to play. Now he plays, runs around, and even hits his sister! He eats more too. He used to eat only half his food. Now he eats everything.
Evarista, mother of Julio Israel (age 4) in Paquip, Guatemala. 
Rachel with Maggie (age 2) in Guatemala 

Rachel with Maggie (age 2) in Guatemala 

The Occasionally Chubby Cheeks of Malnutrition

Oh my word, these kids are little chunks!  I’m thinking.  I just arrived in a high mountain village of Paya to better understand malnutrition and take pictures of kids who tell the story.  And half the children in this village seem… well… chubby.

 A group of mothers and their kids gather in the community center for a monthly height and weight checkup. Roselia, a health care worker, starts with baby girl Helen.  Helen has a round Mayan face and a big belly.  She hardly fits on the scale and looks as if she’ll roll out.

 “She’s not underweight!” Roselia says.

 Obviously. I smile.

 We then lay Helen down to take her height.  She’s short for her age.  Baby Helen is a fat baby, but she’s a short baby (medically speaking, she’s “stunted”).

 I grab my camera.  This is malnutrition in Guatemala. 

Some world problems glare at you. Like children wasting away on the pages of National Geographic. Other world problems – ones with far reaching consequences – aren’t as blatant.  Malnutrition, even if hidden behind a belly full of beans and tortillas, can ruin a child’s mental and physical development.

 The images aren’t dramatic but the results are.

 With LazyAngel’s intervention, Helen’s future will be different.  She’ll be more likely to live to adulthood, have a higher IQ, better appetite, and better performance at school.

Baby Helen may seem an unlikely poster child for malnutrition.  But she’s a good reminder that devastating problems don’t always look as we’d expect.

References:

Horton, Sue, France Begin, Alison Greig, and Anand Lakshman. Best Practice Paper: Micronutrient Supplements for Child Survival (Vitamin A and Zinc). Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2008.

Interview with Karin (age 3) from Paquip, Guatemala

Program Guatemala Story: Noe (4)

Name: Noe

Age: 4

Results:  Noe is from Paquip, Guatemala. He is part of the Wuku’ Kawoq nutrition program funded by LazyAngel. 

Noe loves to plays, and he’s growing well. His mom says, “he likes to help around the house, and he’s excited to turn 5 and have a ‘fiesta’”.

Intervention: Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS)

A simple and cost-effective treatment for diarrhea is Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). It’s the Gatorade of the developing world - a simple combination of salt, sugar, and water that a child drinks. It replaces the essential body fluids and salts lost during a diarrheal attack. It keeps kids hydrated and alive. 

Rachel (LazyAngel co-founder) giving child Sprinkles and ORS.

About Deworming (by Dr. Peter Rohloff, founder of Wuku’ Kawoq)

In the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus, top economists and Nobel Laureates rank micronutrients for malnourished kids as the most cost-effective aid effort.

Intervention: “Sprinkles”

Sprinkles (or “Chispitas” in Spanish) is a nutritional supplement - in the form of a powder - that is sprinkled over a child’s food. Sprinkles instantly fortify the meal with iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid.

Maggie loves her Sprinkles.

Outcomes:

Iron:

Iron fights against iron deficiency anemia.  A child sufficient in iron has increased energy, higher IQ and educational outcomes, and higher wages later in life.

Zinc:

Zinc supplementation decreases the prevalence and duration of diarrheal attacks. Zinc also relates to childhood stunting. A child sufficient in zinc is more likely to grow - physically and mentally - to their full potential.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A develops healthy eyes and strong immune systems when given to children under five.  With vitamin A, kids can fight off illnesses and death from common infections like diarrheal disease and measles. 

Sprinkles helps kids grow physically and mentally. Each child is measured every month to track growth. 

Guatemala Program Story: Julio Israel (4)

Name: Julio Israel

Age: 4

Time in program: 4 months

Results: Since Julio Isreal began taking Sprinkles (iron, zinc, & vitamin A), he has increased in both height and weight. His mom says, “Before, Julio didn’t play much. But now he plays more, he runs around and even hits his sister! He eats more too.  Before he’d only eat half his food, but now he cleans his plate.”

 


Intervention: Deworming

Parasitic worms are the anti-micronutrient – they live off their host and disrupt nutrient absorption.  They cause weakness and anemia, and increased susceptibility to other diseases. 

Deworming kills the parasitic worms and reduces the incidence of anemia, improves appetite, and promotes intellectual and physical growth. 

Photo: Little boy with deworming tablets. 

 

Mothers and children lined up to receive deworming tablets. 

NOTE: Research shows that deworming is especially efffective amongst school-aged children. This deworming program targets pre-schooled aged children where there is less research on the cost-effectiveness and results. With our primary goal being to focus on the most cost-effective interventions, future projects will support deworming for school-aged children. 

Resources:

Horton, Sue, Harold Alderman, and Juan A. Rivera. Hunger and Malnutrition Challenge Paper. Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Consensus 2008, 2008.

LazyAngel Project Guatemala: Fact sheet

Malnutrition in Guatemala.

Guatemala has the 4th highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world - higher than Haiti and most Sub-Saharan African counties. Fifty percent of kids in Guatemala are malnourished.

Our Field Partner

LazyAngel works with experienced local partners to distribute micronutrients to children. We seek partners that have an exceptional track record, know the in-depth issues facing communities, and have mastered the techniques of working in child health.

 Our first field partner is Wuku’ Kawoq.  Wuku’ Kawoq is committed to providing medical care to the indigenous in their native Mayan languages. They have comprehensive child nutrition programs in over 15 communities — providing community-based screening of child growth, micronutrient supplementation, and deworming treatment. 

About the Programs

LazyAngel is supporting the following Wuku’ Kawoq projects:

 Sprinkles

  •  Iron
  •  Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS)

 Deworming

To learn more visit www.wukukawoq.org

Me with the Wuku’ Kawoq community health workers in Paquip, Chimaltenango.

Dr. Peter Rohloff, founder of Wuku’ Kawoq, examining a sick child. 

Project Guatemala Video. Starting at 6 months of age, kids are measured and weighed monthly to track growth. 

Lessons on Empathy from a Street Taco

On day two of LazyAngel’s Guatemala Project, I was taking pictures of my feet while I lay flat in my hotel room. A street taco had taken me out. I knew Guatemala intimately. I had lived with the locals for two years. But street tacos apparently had forgotten my stomach, and my stomach, them.

The problem that hit me - and one that’s a regular problem for kids here - is that word I would normally avoid saying: diarrhea. Even writing it seems messy. No wonder most people stick to supporting microloans and planting trees.

But as ignoring my stomach pain didn’t work, so ignoring this global problem won’t change the reality. The problem is real. It is especially real for kids that live with diarrhea daily. It’s painful. It’s uncomfortable. It makes kids skip school. It drains energy. It dehydrates.  After pneumonia, it’s the second leading cause of death for kids in the developing world – killing more than AIDs, malaria, and measles combined (1.9 million kids/year).

 So what can be done to fight this problem?

 A simple and cost-effective treatment for diarrhea is Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). It’s the Gatorade of the developing world - a simple combination of salt, sugar, and water. It replaces the essential body fluids and salts lost during a diarrheal attack. It keeps kids hydrated and alive. 

ORS replaces lost fluid, a must for a child who has diarrhea, but it doesn’t shorten the duration or lessen the severity of a diarrheal case.  Zinc does. Zinc also reduces the frequency of diarrheal attacks, and in 2008, it was ranked (along with Vitamin A) as the most cost-effective global intervention. 

The Zinc-ORS power-combo is what we delivered to the kids of Guatemala.  Diarrhea is a serious problem for kids.  And as the street taco reminded me, it’s no fun.  What is fun is taking the ad revenue generated by LazyAngel users and keeping the kids of Guatemala healthy.

Congrats to LazyAngel’s users and staff!  We’re off to a great start!

References:

Bryce, Jennifer, Cynthia Boschi-Pinto, Kenji Shibuya, and Robert E Black. “WHO estimates the causes of death in children.” Lancet 365 (2005): 1147-1152. 

Horton, Sue, France Begin, Alison Greig, and Anand Lakshman. Best Practice Paper: Micronutrient Supplements for Child Survival (Vitamin A and Zinc). Frederiksberg: Copenhagen Consensus Center, 2008.