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.
Aug 26, 2014

Groundbreaking Quality Care - Unique in Guatemala!

We help our patients monitor their blood glucose
We help our patients monitor their blood glucose

Dear Friend,

Since its inception, the Maya Health Alliance - Wuqu’ Kawoq diabetes program has been truly groundbreaking. Our cohort of approximately 150 diabetes patients is among the largest clinical diabetes programs described in the global health literature, and, as far as we know, Wuqu Kawoq’ may be the only organization in Guatemala providing free, truly comprehensive diabetes care. In addition, we always have maintained an unwavering commitment to Maya communities as roughly 80% of our patients with diabetes are monolingual in a Mayan language.

This year has brought many exciting developments to the Wuqu’ Kawoq diabetes program. First, although we have added approximately 25 new complex diabetics to our cohort since August 2013, we have maintained and even strengthened the high quality of our patient care. For example, in the six months since January 1, 2014, the percentage of our patients with “good” blood sugar control has improved from 41% to 53%, and the percentage of our patients with “very good” blood sugar control has risen from 21% to 32%. Much of this improvement stems from our successful efforts to persuade approximately 15 patients to intitiate insulin therapy. (This is no small feat; it took some patients more than three years to accept the necessity of insulin treatment to adequately control their diabetes!)

Second, we have recently hired a new diabetes nurse educator, Carol Teleguario, who makes regular home visits with complex patients as part of our new diabetes education study. Carol, a Kaqchikel speaker from Patzún, has been warmly embraced by our patients. We have not crunched the data yet, but based on what our patients are telling us, we think it is likely that diabetes education in home visits improves patients’ blood sugar control and program adherence.

Third, we have recently begun a pilot program to screen all patients for cardiac and kidney complications through the measurement of cholesterol and microalbuminuria, respectively. Such screening tests are standard-of-care in the U.S., but our program would be the first in the global health literature to offer such tests at no cost.

Finally, as we are always brainstorming ways to improve our program, we have other exciting diabetes program news in the “pipeline,” including news about drug procurement, eye care, and expansion of services into a new community. We look forward to sharing the news with you in the coming months!

Thank you for your continued, incredible support!

Nurse Sandy speaks with patients in Kaqchikel Maya
Nurse Sandy speaks with patients in Kaqchikel Maya
DIY Dialysis at home so patients can Live!
DIY Dialysis at home so patients can Live!

Links:

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!

Sincerely,
Anne

 

Links:

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

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