Wuqu' Kawoq

Wuqu' Kawoq's mission is to address the barriers to excellent health care that the majority of Guatemala's indigenous Maya population face, including principally the lack of access to health care in their own languages. As such, Wuqu' Kawoq develops primary care and health programs within a larger context of community vitality, family stability,and Mayan language revitalization.
May 8, 2014

Saving Gustavo's Life

Gustavo before (3 months) and after (7 months)
Gustavo before (3 months) and after (7 months)

Dear Friends, 

We often hear about Impact, but do we really know what it means?

Impact is important yet difficult to measure, and it can be even more difficult to really see. We are thrilled to bring you Gustavo, a baby boy who is growing and thriving because of donors like you!

In December, when Gustavo was almost 3 months old, he was malnourished and not growing at all. His mother was doing everything she could by nursing him, purchasing formula when she could and giving him all the love possible, but it wasn't enough.

Mom could not produce enough milk to help Gustavo grow and formula costs were so high for this poor family. When she came to us, Gustavo was at his birth weight, even though he was almost 3 months old. We knew action had to happen quickly in order to save him!

We began an intensive nutrition and education intervention.  First, we learned about mom and her situation during a home visit. We learned that she had the most heart wrenching situation, she has lost a baby 2 years earlier in a similar situation as Gustavo. We quickly started Gustavo on the path to health with nutritional supplementation, education for the family, and close oversight from our team. Your partnership with us enabled our team to find this baby and provide him with education and initial life saving treatment. 

We also partnered with our friends at Watsi who helped us to fund Gustavo’s continued life saving care as he is not from one of our primary health care commnuities. Overall, we excited to link donors and organiations together to save lives! We are extremely thrilled with Gustavo's growth and beautiful smiles!

Thank you for saving a life today! I look forward to bringing you more success stories soon!




May 8, 2014

Life Saving Infant Training with Midwives

Midwives working together
Midwives working together

The Golden Minute is an extremely important 60 second window to make sure an infant is breathing his or her first breaths of air and to check to see if the infant is not in any distress. This is an extremely important and can be nervewraking if a medical professional is not trained for the sitaution. 

In rural Guatemala, the majority of women are not able to go to a hospital to give birth or many women prefer to stay at home and have a midwife. The majority of midwives are well trained and have a great deal of experience. They are often viewed as leaders in the community and provide new information and resources to their patients and other women in the community. 

For over 7 years we have been collaborating with midwives in Guatemala and we have implemented several successful projects, including a continuing education program and curriculum, to teach practicing lay midwives about new themes in midwifery and to reinforce key skills, such as neonatal resuscitation; and community outreach programs to improve management of high risk pregnancies and newborn infants in rural outlying communities. We provide ongoing training to midwives who have been with us for many years and we are always open to training new midwives.

Recently, we provided training in neonatal resuscitation for 90 midwives and 30 of them who had never received the training before! It was a fun 3 days as we gathered together in different communities to spend 5 hours discussing the importance of the golden minute and how to do it, and then practivcing the life saving techniques. After each training we gathered together for lunch. We shared laughs and stories over chicken soup with delicious corn tortillas. 

Golden Minute, neonatal resuscitation
Golden Minute, neonatal resuscitation
May 8, 2014

Focused Care, One Patient at a Time

DIY Dialysis
DIY Dialysis

Hello Friends,

At times, life is difficult for all of us. There are days when we don't want to get out of bed or days we are not sure how to make the best of a difficult situation. We understand that, which enables our patients to confide in us and put their trust in us to help them get better. In rural Guatemala, our diabetic patients face extremely difficult sitautions, especially when diabetes is poorly understood by family members and friends. Often, they receive poor advice about diet and mediciation and when they are trying to following a good diabetic diet, often family are misinformed and make it difficult for the diabetic patient to eat the foods they should. 

We have worked together with our patients to understand their most difficult problems while batteling diabetes. Most often, it comes down to education and access to medications. We are thrilled that we can help our patients with both of these facets. 

One of our patients, a 62 year old woman named Paula, told me "I always try to eat the right thing. I have tried cutting out sugar in my coffee and I rarely eat fried plantains any more and in the afternoons I have been trying to cut out my sweet bread. However, the most difficult factor is my husband, he always wants me to sit with him and have sweet bread and he loves plantains in the morning. I know these aren't good for me, but with him and my children always wanting the foods I can't eat, well it's hard to make more than one meal every day 3 times a day."

We understand Paula's concerns and we are excited to be growing our education program. We have continued pilot testing our program and we believe we are going to be making some fundamental changes to our program. These changes will focus on home educational visits wtih the diabetic and the entire family in order to educate and hopefully prevent diabetes among other family members. 

The majority of our patients are able to control their diabetes through diet and some medication. However, we have several diabetics who need a lot more care, some needing insulin and even dialysis. 

Our patient Amada, has been an incredible warrior batteling diabetes and has been on dialysis for many years. She lives far away from a hospital that can dialysis, which made it difficult for her to work or take care of her young daugher. We wanted to change that! We helped Amada to do dialysis at home! Amada compelted dialysis training sessions and has been doing DIY at home dialysis for over a year now. It took time to find her a place to live, incuding the construction of a small room that was a dedicated space to do dialysis. But now she is doing fantastic.

Amada makes the best of an extremely difficult situation in life. Here is Amada visiting with our nurse, Sandy, and showing us how she does dalysis at home: http://vimeo.com/71350398

From DIY dialysis to educating the family, not only the patient, we are helping diabetics learn and live!


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