The last several weeks have been especially difficult in Guatemala, with COVID cases surging, hospitals overwhelmed, and vaccination rates still below 3%. The recent ouster of the country’s top anti-corruption prosecutor is fueling mistrust of the government, with the unfortunate side effect of shaking confidence in government issued COVID vaccines. (Which in any case remain scarce.) These fragile conditions continue to take a toll on jobs and make it harder than ever for families to afford and access food.
To meet these challenges, we are stepping up food deliveries and telemedicine. In addition, our nutrition teams continue to make regular visits to support families of children with chronic malnutrition.
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in the field with some of these remarkable teams. In almost every case, we saw progress from previous visits in terms of weight and height, but in one instance, a young boy named Josué was losing ground because he had diarrhea that left him listless and disinterested in eating. Our tech provided some medication to clear his infection and reviewed hygiene measures with his mom, so hopefully the next visit will show good results!
I was struck by the genuine connections between our team and the families. It was clear that there was mutual respect and that the nutrition techs were offering very welcome and needed advice that made sense in the context of each family's situation. It’s encouraging to see the trust and progress that comes with building relationships with patients over time in their own languages and communities.
Thank you again for making these lifesaving efforts possible!
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