Sunday, August 20, 2017
Health Care and Education Come Together in our Well Child Initiative
Written by Jordan Cook, Medical Program Intern
In 2010, it was estimated that there was approximately 1 doctor for every 10,000 people in the rural areas of Guatemala (PAHO, Health in the Americas, 2012). An annual checkup, something children in the United States regularly receive before starting school, is an impossibility for many indigenous Guatemalans. Most people do not have the resources to see a doctor regularly, and because of this they wait to seek treatment until an illness has become life-threatening. A common cold, compounded with vitamin deficiencies, can quickly turn into pneumonia. This can cause children to miss days or even weeks of school due to an illness that could have been prevented.
Mayan Families strives to provide well-rounded care for all of our clients, from education to health care. With our new Well Child Initiative, our on-staff doctor, Dr. Silvia, is able to provide all of the students in each of our six Preschool Nutrition Centers with an annual checkup. Each child receives a full consultation with the doctor, medications, and laboratory tests.
Well Child checkups are extremely important in catching illnesses, vitamin deficiencies, and many other conditions before they can have a life-long impact on a child. Dr. Silvia has been able to identify cases of parasites, diarrhea, anemia, and many more illnesses that can contribute to malnutrition. Beyond simply identifying these illnesses, the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic is able to provide medicine to start treatment the very same day. Dr. Silvia is also able to provide education to parents of the preschoolers on what they can do at home to improve and support the health of their children.
At Mayan Families, we know that preventative healthcare is the cornerstone for healthy generations to come. Guatemala will continue to become a stronger and healthier country as the children that are currently receiving checkups grow into the adults that are leading the country in the future. For this reason, we are proud of our Well Child Initiative and the care that we are able to provide to our preschool students.
Support this program and help make an impact that lasts a lifetime, by donating to the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic today!.
A special thank you to Dr. Jerrilyn and her family for helping us provide annual check ups to our preschoolers in San Jorge. We were very grateful that this visiting doctor and her family were able to help us provide these essential physicals to our preschool students!