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.
Oct 30, 2012

Responding to Overwhelming Medical Need

Dear friends, one of the things that amazes me the most about Wuqu' Kawoq's diabetes staff and program is how adaptable and capable they are, and how committed to patient care. This was recently demonstrated to me by two recent cases from last month. 

Since we are largely a referral diabetes program, patients tend to come to us after having failed to achieve adequate treatment for their diabetes elsewhere. As such, most of the time our diabetic patients are really quite sick and require a lot of individualized attention. In fact, many of them end up coming to us because they've been turned away by other clinics that feel they are too advanced in their diabetes to be treatable. 

Recently, two patients had to start peritoneal dialysis, because their diabetes was so long-standing and had caused such damage to their kidneys. This would normally be an insurmountable barrier, both financially and logistically, for the average patient. However, our excellent social work staff guided both patients through the entire process, accompanying them to their medical visits, picking up medication prescriptions, and so on. Our excellent nursing staff taught the patients how to watch their diets, prevent infection, and manage their home dialysis sessions. Our excellent logistics staff made sure that each patient had an appropriate place in the home to initiate dialysis safely. 

All in all, the experience made me feel so proud to be part of this team, which is consistently transforming and elevating the quality of care offered to patients with this difficult disease. 

As always, none of this would be possible without your support and encouragement! We ask that you please consider us once again this holiday season in your giving. Don't forget that Global Giving will allow you to give a donation in honor of a loved one!

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Oct 30, 2012

Expanding care in 2013

Dear friends, 

As the end of the year draws close, we've been making plans for our midwifery and women's health programs  for 2013. This is always an exciting time of the year, because it gives us a chance to reflect back on the accomplishments of the past year and plan for any upcoming new goals.

For example, we've been helping to provide education to lay indigenous midwives in Guatemala for over 5 years now. This model has been very successful and has attracted a lot of attention around the region. As a result, in 2013, we'll be expanding the training to a third town, meaning that midwives will have more options in deciding which training event is closest to their home. We anticipate having around 120 different participating midwives this year. Collectively, these midwives represent 5 different municipalities and cover a population of over 150,000 with obstetrical services. 

Another goal for the coming year is continued expansion of our sexual health training curriculum for women. We've learned over the years that most rural indigenous women have very little exposure to basic health education and have no forum in which they can comfortably and safely have their questions about sexual health and family planning addressed. We plan to provide educational sessions to 400 women in 2013. What's more, each participant will have full access to our other health services, including free cervical cancer screening and access to family planning methods. 

As always, our work would not be possible without your support! Please consider continuing to support this exciting project in your holiday or year end giving! Don't forget that the Global Giving interface will allow you to donate in honor of a loved one - a great idea for alternative gift giving!

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Oct 7, 2012

Clinic Inauguration

Dear friends, 

We just returned from an exciting trip to Guatemala. One of the focal activities of this trip was the formal inauguration of this clinic building. 

Although we've already been using the building informally to see patients for a while now, while construction was finishing up, this inauguration gave us the opportunity to unite the entire community to celebrate the conclusion of the project. In attendance were officials from local government and school and hundreds of community members.There were speeches, dances, and food. The activity was organized by Wuqu' Kawoq's regional staff and by the local women's action community that is in charge of running this clinic and its associated activities. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for all your generous support in getting this project off the ground. Even though the clinic is now operational, there are still giving opportunities, as we still have a some clinic supplies and furniture that we would like to add to round out the space. 

As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

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