Monday, May 22, 2017
Maria gets the Care she Needs to Beat Hepatitis
Written by Audra Fain, Medical Program Intern
A few months into the school year, Maria* got sick with a cold that only got worse. Eventually, her mother needed to take her to the nearest health post in Sololá, a 20 to 30 minute drive away that cost her in money and time away from work. Maria and her mother encountered another hurdle upon meeting with the doctors in Sololá: in order to get a full diagnosis, they would need to pay for a number of expensive laboratory tests, which they were unable to afford.
Fortunately, Maria’s Well Child Check-Up was scheduled for a few days later, where she was able to receive high quality medical care despite her financial situation. Mayan Families staff doctor Dra. Zacarias (pictured on left, photo by Livvy Runyon) discovered that Maria had Hepatitis A and needed immediate attention. Both the medical visit and the medication were free.
Maria’s mother recalls that Dra. Zacarias clearly explained the diagnosis and medication, and she highlighted the importance of monitoring Maria’s diet for her recovery and general health going forward. After talking to the doctor, Maria’s mom cut out soda and candy and introduced more oats, rice, and beans to Maria’s diet.
According to Maria’s mom, “[she] is getting better very quickly with the medication” and she’s on her way to a full recovery. She described how “Maria gets up at 6:00am every day… and asks for her breakfast because she wants to go to preschool,” where she can play with her friends. Thanks to the new diet and medication provided by our Well Child Check-Ups, Maria will soon be healthy enough to return to school.
Maria and her mother outside the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic, Photo by Erin Crandell
Preventable diseases like Maria’s often go untreated or undiagnosed, and can cause serious health issues for many children in Guatemala. Our Well Child Check-Ups work to identify and manage these diseases in our preschool communities. During these check-ups Dra. Zacarias and our clinic staff speak to families about the importance of diet and exercise for a child’s development. With both health education and preventative care, we hope to help children like Maria treat existing health issues and prevent future ones.
The Well Child Check-ups were fully funded by our #GivingTuesday campaign last November, when over 150 supporters came together to start two new preventative health programs. This initiative is part of our effort to prevent disease before it starts and to provide primary care to all of our clients. To help us provide healthcare to those in need, donate to the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic today!
*Name has been changed to protect patient privacy