Thanks to your generosity we had an extremely successful fundraising drive for the Bocacosta nutrition project in March and April, raising many thousands more than our goal. As a result, this project is on secure footing for a good while to come!
There are several exciting updates on the project.
First, we recently contracted with a distributor in Guatemala City to provide us with "Chispitas"--or "Sprinkles" as they are known in the United States and Canada. Sprinkles are a relatively new micronutrient preparation which provides high amounts of iron, zinc, and vitamin C - elements which combat diarrhea, respiratory infections, and anemia. Unlike the unpleasant-tasting iron supplements which we have previously been using, Sprinkles are a powdered preparation which can easily be mixed into the child's food. We plan to begin using Sprinkles in this project within the next month!
Secondly, our biosand water filter project, in collaboration with Engineers without Borders and the Rotary Club, has now installed water filters in all homes in the community! Everyone is quite excited about this development, which we regared as one of the most sustainable ways to start working toward prevention of childhood disease and malnutrition.
Final, we can confidently report that the project is working! From the beginning of our first work on nutrition in the communit in November 2008 until now, the rate of of malnutrition in children under 3 years of age has declined from 70% to 35%!
As we move into the summer months, we ask that you keep our work in mind. This community is just one of many in the region, and we would like to expand the work--something that we can do only with your support. We ask that you consider continuing to support this project, either through a one-time gift or by registering to make a small regular monthly donation.
Even if you cannot support this project financially at this time, we ask that you support us in other important ways, such as forwarding project information to friends and family, posting links to the project on Facebook or your personal website, etc.
As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Dear Friends, in March we at Wuqu' Kawoq are focusing on fundraising for our child malnutrition work in the Bocacosta. This is an exciting time for this project. With numerous improvements to our educational campaigns and home visits to visit new infants and their mothers, as well as with our continued medical care to treat and prevent malnutrition, we are seeing better results than ever. Following our recent site visit iin February, we had the opportunity to sit down and analyse growth data on the children in the program. These data show that we are making significant progress in preventing and reversing stunting in our target population, principally children from 6 months to 3 years in age. As always we are grateful for your support for this project. We ask that, in the month of March, you help us spread the word about the project through your social networks as we seek to meet our fundraising goal. Together we can combat malnutrition in Guatemala.
Dear Friends, I have just returned from a recent trip with several other Wuqu' Kawoq physicians and volunteers to Socorro. We spent several days there performing examinations on children enrolled in our child malnutrition program.
We are happy to report that the majority are improving on the program and are now growing well. We spent most of our time providing preventative care services - educating mothers on breastfeeding, baby foods, dental care, and similar topics. This in and of itself is a major accomplishment; after several years of working in the community we have stabilized many of the acute medical problems and are now able to focus on preventing children from getting sick in the first place!
This transformation was best illustrated by the numerous mothers who arrived at appointments with their children and who, when asked if they had any specific health concerns, said, "No we are just here for a checkup." Here in Guatemala, where routine check-ups are virtually non-existent, it is extremely gratifying to be part of making this change.
Also extremely exciting were the tours of the water filter project that we conducting. Clean water is a big part of our strategy for improving child health in the region. You can see some pictures and videos from this tour at the links below.
Dear friends -
I am sitting in Wuqu' Kawoq's office in Guatemala right now preparing this brief update. Tomorrow a team of our physicians head down out to Socorro to provide annual physical exams to healthy children and more intensive medical treatment to malnourished children over the course of several days.
This small medical trip is just the latest in a series of news items for our child malnutrition project there. Over the last several months we have greatly expanding educational offerings for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in an effort to improve nutritional outcomes for infants in the community.
Also, excitingly, due to our ongoing collaboration with Engineers without Borders and the Rotary Club, we were able to begin installation of water purification filters in all households in the community last month. We anticipate that the provision of clean water will have a dramatic impact on child health and allow us to make significant progress toward our goals of combatting malnutrition.
We plan to provide further updates from the field this week as our current trip unfolds and we hope that you will enjoy the new photos that we are uploading.
As always we remain extremely grateful for your support of our work in this impoverished area of Guatemala and we welcome your suggestions and feedback at any time. We believe that together we can make a difference for these children and their families. Thank you.
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