Chronic disease care and global health put to the test in Guatemala


An excellent post by our medical student, David Flood, on his work with Maya Health Alliance- Wuqu’ Kawoq featured on the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Health blog.

In late January, I visited the house of an indigenous woman with diabetes in a highland town in Guatemala. I had been ushered to the home by a colleague at Wuqu’ Kawoq , a non-governmental organization that provides complex medical care to patients throughout Guatemala.

“I’m 54 years old, and I’ve had diabetes for 25 years. But last year things worsened when I had a stroke. Although I was able to recover, my diabetes is still in bad shape,” the woman told me.

She travels five hours on a bus for medical check-ups. She travels three hours every month to purchase insulin and syringes for $50, products only available in the regional capital. She spends $30 per month on medicine for high blood pressure. She’s never had recommended screening for common diabetes complications such as kidney failure, retinal damage, or for high cholesterol. Continue the Story Here!