Bringing Children Health In Guatemala
By: Dale Hanson-Bourke, MAP International
Brenda, a single mother of two, is employed as a domestic worker, washing and ironing clothes. She makes just $19 per week, barely enough to feed her and her two children, a daughter aged 2, and a son aged 10. Her job offers no benefits. She has no vacation, no insurance, and no job security. If she misses work due to illness, she loses her job. Neither child is able to attend school because she cannot pay the school fees.
The family lives in the area of Jocotillo, Guatemala. The land that Brenda and her children live on is located on the banks of a ravine and does not have adequate sanitation. The family uses firewood to cook. The smoke from the fire often contributes to respiratory problems.
Brenda’s two-year-old daughter became so sick recently that she had difficulty breathing. She had a bad cough and was running a fever. Brenda knew she needed help, so she made her way to the closest clinic, located 2 km from her home. Supported by the Order of Malta, the clinic also receives support from Food for the Poor and pediatric antibiotics from MAP International through its Bringing Children Health program.
At the clinic, Brenda and her daughter met Dr. Yusimil Carranza, or “Dr. Yusi” as everyone calls her. A highly trained pediatrician, Dr. Yusi chooses to work in the clinic primarily serving some of the poorest families in Guatemala instead of taking a more lucrative job in private practice.
“I love these families,” she says. “Serving them is a privilege.”
When Dr. Yusi examined Brenda’s daughter, she diagnosed her with acute pneumonia and was able to treat her with pediatric amoxicillin, thanks to MAP. Brenda couldn’t have paid for the medicine and was so grateful that her daughter could receive the treatment free.
“Too often children go untreated because their parents can’t afford medicine,” said Dr. Yusi. “This can lead to chronic, life-long problems and even death.”
After taking the medicine, the little girl’s condition improved and she was back to her normal self. Dr. Yusi made sure the antibiotics were used properly and that the little girl had completely recovered.
Brenda is so grateful to the donors because she does not have the necessary resources to buy the medicine her daughter required. “May God bless everyone for all you have done for us,” Brenda said.
Stories like Brenda and her daughter are a reality thanks to life-changing medicines from MAP International and our partners. For more inspiring stories, please visit MAP’s website at www.map.org.