Guatemala has one of highest rates of child malnutrition in the world. Covid and climate change are adding to the problem. Working with community health workers, we combat child malnutrition in rural Maya communities during children's early years with education, monitoring, and treatment. This saves lives and offers better futures for the children spared from malnutrition and stunting, which are linked with higher risks of chronic diseases and diminished success in school and work.
Indigenous Maya in rural Guatemala confront a variety of barriers to accessing health care, which especially impact children. More than 80% of children these rural communities are chronically malnourished or stunted. The COVID pandemic and climate change have magnified these problems. This project supports our work partnering with families to treat and prevent stunting for children under 2.5 years of age in some of Guatemala's most vulnerable communities.
This project provides community-based screening and monitoring of child growth, nutritional food supplementation with products like Incaparina and chispitas, and the treatment of anemia, parasites, and other common conditions. We partner with families over six months to provide education to support their children's nutrition and development.
With early detection and treatment of stunting, children are given the chance to grow to their full potential. Treatment of stunting also positively impacts school performance and economic and work opportunities in adulthood. In communities where we work, we have seen reductions in malnutrition from 20-40%.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Excel file (projdoc.xls).