Approximately 75% of the population of Guatemala is indigenous Maya and speaks some 20+ Mayan languages. Many elderly Maya suffer from diabetes, which is strongly inherited in this population. High-quality care is limited by the fact that few physicians or health workers speak Mayan languages and also by the high cost of diabetes medications and supplies. This project will provide medical services and free diabetes medications to 50 Kaqchikel-speaking diabetic patients in their own language
Diabetics receive a full medical exam by a physician every 2 months. They receive free diabetic medications and visits from community volunteers to provide nutritional support and blood sugar monitoring. All care is conducted in Kaqchikel Mayan.
With appropriate access to medications and medical care, the long-term complications of diabetes, including damaged eyesight, foot ulcers, and heart and kidney disease can be prevented. Patients can therefore lead longer and more productive lives.