‘’In Guatemala Fifty percent of all children under five are suffering with chronic malnutrition. This permanently affects physical and mental development. The levels of maternal mortality are among the highest in the region and haven’t dropped in the last 15 years.”
”So long as I have my health, nothing else really matters!”
For many of us, this is a statement we can relate to, but the majority of people in the world do not have such a comforting statement to fall back on.
In 2010, 7.6 million children died under the age of 5. According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes.
In Guatemala the healthcare system consists of three sectors: public, private non-profit, and private for-profit. Health coverage is estimated to be low, with more than 40% of the population receiving no access to healthcare services at all.
In the area of Rio Dulce, you are able to take a boat trip along the river, amongst beautiful scenery and jungle, where many of the rich and famous boast their million dollar estates. But behind these compounds are small villages inhabited by families stricken by poverty.
These families do not have money to eat and as a result are suffering from Chronic malnutrition. Mothers take river trips to town to sell tortillas all day and leave the children to fend for themselves.
At Think Twice we know that there is food in the world for everyone. Chronic malnourishment has a physical and mental affect on these families.They become very weak and very sick. Adults become increasingly less able to work and their children suffer as a result. This downward spiral will continue until death.
In this area malaria and dengue fever is rife, and HIV is a constant problem. Medical supplies and access to doctors is very limited and in most cases, simply unaffordable.
Think Twice supports an organisation in this area, Casa Guatemala. Casa Guatemala offers a free or affordable health clinic to the families that need support.
Doctors and nurses volunteer and medical supplies are donated. Hundreds of families from miles around are supported every year.