Refuge International

Improving lives through healthcare, nutrition, clean water, and education.

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Nutrition

  • 50% of Guatemalan children under the age of 5 suffer stunted growth due to improper nutrition: one of the highest percentages in the world. -USAID
  • Guatemala has the highest incidence of children’s malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean, and ranks sixth highest in the world.
  • Protein-energy malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and parasitic worms all contribute to the major health burden in Guatemala and other developing countries.
Vitamin Deficiencies

Micronutrient deficiencies are so widespread among Guatemala’s children that nearly 40 percent are anemic and 20 percent of children under the age of five suffer vitamin A deficiency. Zinc deficiency has also been identified as a public health problem. Zinc has recently been identified as a key element in infantile growth, which accounts in part for Guatemala’s high prevalence of stunting and the recurrence of infectious diseases.

Micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant women are also at critical levels and result in low infant birth weight and begin a cycle of undernutrition in development. Vitamin supplementation in pregnant women is one strategy for reducing adverse pregnancy outcomes through improved maternal nutritional and immune status according to the World Health Organization.

Parasitic Worms

Soil-transmitted helminth, or parasitic worm, infections are among the most common infections in developing countries and can impair nutritional status by causing malabsorption of nutrients, internal bleeding which can lead to loss of iron and anemia, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Every patient that is seen at our clinics received packets of vitamins and Albendazole tablets are provided to the entire household. Albendazole effectively treats hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Helping families say “Adios Lombrices” or goodbye worms!

 

How Can You Help?

Your financial support enables us to purchase vital vitamins and deworming medications for people we serve in Guatemala.

  • One dose of Albendazole costs only a few pennies and patients need to be treated just twice annually.
  • The cost to provide a one-month supply of daily vitamins to a child, adult or pregnant woman is less than $1.00 and make such a differnce in supplementing their diets.
    • Children’s Vitamins = 51¢ per 30 tablets
    • Adult Vitamins = 45¢ per 30 tablets
    • Prenatal Vitamins = 81¢ per 30 tablets