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 24, 2013

Reducing Malnutrition by 50%

Dear Friends,

I've spent the last few weeks in front of a computer looking at child growth data. It may sound boring, but actually it has been pretty exciting to have the time to do these interim analyses of our community nutrition programs. 

These programs, as many of you who have supported our work over the years know, are comprehensive. They provide medical checkups to young children, in addition to regular treatment for parasites and anemia and the provision of nutritional supplements. Recently, in the last year or so, we've also been working hard to improve our educational support of parents as they learn how best to support their children in the first few critical years of life. 

Our primary endpoint is trying to reduce rates of stunting, or chronic malnutrition, in young children. This is the primary form of malnutrition in rural Guatemala, which leads to lifelong disability through short stature and impaired intellectual development. 

And the good news is that our programs are working. For example, in one set of community data that I was analyzing last week, the rates of severe stunting have decreased more than 50%. At the same time, the rates of children who are underweight have decreased more than 60%. These sorts of demonstrable improvements in child health give us hope for the future!

Links:

Apr 30, 2013

Research with Midwives - and Great Photos!

Dear Friends, 

Over the last few months, I've been working with our midwife colleagues to develop a robust plan for evaluating the exciting work they are doing. Since we've been working with them on this project for more than 5 years, and seen many great successes along the way, now feels like the right time to help them build some deeper capacity for collecting and analyzing data, which is an important part of being an effective health care organization. We've taken as a starting point our very successful pilot project developing a protocol for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. Over the next few months, we'll be training the midwives to collect their own data on how this program is going - they'll be looking at things like adherence to treatment protocols among the organization's members, volume of patients treated, supply line problems related to medication distribution, and the like. We are hopeful that this will be the start of a new initiative in the program to improve self-reflection, evaluation, and quality improvement. 

While this capacity building work is going on, simultaneously our sexual health education classes and cervical cancer screening programs are really picking up momentum for the year. These programs are extremely popular and well attended. We are also fortunate to have a volunteer medical student with us for the year who has been sitting in on the classes and providing close feedback to our staff and facilitators. Consequently we're seeing that each round of classes gets better through continuous curriculum improvement. I've attached some photos of classes in session, which I'm sure you will all enjoy. 

Thanks for your support, and please do consider us this year also in your giving. 

Links:

Apr 30, 2013

Annual Review of Program Completed

Our Team
Our Team

Dear Friends, 

As the Medical Director of our organization, I've been completing the annual review of our diabetes program over the last few months. This has included visiting with most of the patients enrolled in the program to get their feedback, and it has also included observing our staff in their regular interactions with patients. All of this, of course, with the goal of ensuring that we are delivering the highest quality care to our patients, following our medical protocols, and continually looking for opportunities to improve. 

I've been very impressed, especially with the nurses and community health workers who do the bulk of the work and are responsible for keeping the program running. Compared to last year, control of blood sugar averages, high blood pressure, and kidney disease have all improved significantly. Patients who need intensive insulin therapy are being rapidly identified, and nursing staff are doing a great job teaching patients how to safely use insulin. 

From the patient side, things are also looking good. Morale is high. Attendance at regular health checkup is better than ever. Peer support among patients and families continues to grow. The diabetes clinic really does feel like a "community" of individuals working to help each other along. 

This year we'll continue to do all of this great work - and look for ways to expand it - and we'll need your support to keep going as always! Please consider giving to this amazing program this year. Together we are changing lives. 

Links:

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