Living on a farm in the mountains three hours away from a public health center, it can be very difficult for a child to receive adequate medical attention. It is understandable that Luis’s parents did not realize he was underweight for a ten-month-old boy, especially because many other children in the community looked similar to their own son. Due to his malnutrition, Luis was much more susceptible to infection. His bloated stomach due to parasites is commonplace. For months, his situation did not improve. Luis’s parents finally made the trip to the health center when he was fourteen months old due to a cough that persisted.
From the health center he was referred to the hospital in Yoro, where he was treated for pneumonia. Because the hospital has no long-term care capability, Luis’s underlying malnutrition was not adequately treated. However, he was fortunate to be transferred to our partners at the San Yves Nutrition Center nearby. For four months, he lived at the nutrition center receiving around the clock care including vitamin and mineral supplements, medical attention and a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, his parents were taught basic hygiene and diet practices, as well as signs for when they should seek out medical help rather than waiting for a sickness to pass or trying to cure it at home.
Six months after returning home, Luis still arrives at his bi-monthly checkups at the nutrition center and remains in very good health.