Leading the Fight Against Chronic Child Malnutrition

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In December of 2010, Wuqu’ Kawoq was featured on ABC 20/20’s “Be the Change, Save a Life” campaign as a leader in the fight against chronic child malnutrition in Guatemala, a country where chronic malnutrition is among the worst in the world.  The developmental problems associated with chronic malnutrition are much deeper than simple stunting, or low height for age.  Chronic malnutrition from an early age creates major problems for brain and motor skill development.  If a child is malnourished during the first 5 years of their life, the damage that has been done during these crucial  years cannot be reversed by nutrition interventions after 5 years of age.  The problems associated with malnutrition are now well known and are finally receiving the attention necessary to help raise awareness about this issue.

PBS and AlertNet have both posted articles recently about the levels of malnutrition and stunting in Guatemala.   AlertNet has also listed a “FactBox” containing some astonishing statistics about the severity of stunting and malnutrition in Guatemala, specifically among the indigenous population.

Click below to view these articles:

photo included in PBS NewsHour article

PBS NewsHour

AlertNet: Guatemala’s Invisible Crisis…

Wuqu’ Kawoq has been working over the past years to build programs at the community level for indigenous populations that provide nutrition programs to children in Guatemala. The programs are extensive and include monthly distribution of a nutrition supplement high in protein and micronutrients in which the children are deficient, as well as persistent and precise record keeping of all children’s heights and weights over time.  The height and weight records are matched to World Health Organization (WHO) charts that show healthy child growth.  These comparisons show the extent of a child’s needs and the progress they make over time. In just a few years we have already begun to see some major successes, and the number of communities we are now able to reach has grown considerably.  Please aid in the fight against child malnutrition in order to ensure that future generations have the proper nutrition necessary to succeed. — Click below for more information on our programs.

Wuqu’ Kawoq’s Programs in Guatemala

*Statistics on Malnutrition in Guatemala

AlertNet FACTBOX: Malnutrition in Guatemala

* Guatemala has the worst malnutrition rate in Latin America.                                                                               * Nearly 50 percent of Guatemalan children are chronically malnourished, while among the country’s indigenous communities the rate is close to 70 percent, according to UNICEF.                                                   * In Guatemala’s province of Quiche in the western highlands, an area where many Mayan indigenous communities live, eight out of every 10 children suffer from chronic malnutrition, according to UNICEF.   * One of the leading causes of children dying under the age of five in Guatemala is acute and or chronic malnutrition.                                                                                                                                                                        * Child malnutrition affects the development of the brain and reduces brain capacity.                                      * Children who suffer from malnutrition are more likely to drop out of school at an early age.