Private social initiative launches program to fight malnutrition in Guatemala
Guatemala City, Mar 31 (EFE) – A privately funded social program, “Guatemalans for Nutrition,” is set to commence operations on Friday, focusing on the care of families in the northwestern region of the Central American nation. The program will utilize mobile clinics, known as “Nutrimóviles,” to provide essential services.
José Silva, the project director, stated that the Nutrimóviles Camp will begin attending to its first patient on March 31 and will collaborate with participating families to address malnutrition. The initiative, which commenced planning in 2022, is the work of the Castillo Hermanos business conglomerate, which has allocated $15 million toward the private social program.
The core component of the initiative is the “Nutrimóviles,” mobile modules built in Europe that will offer care to malnourished children under five years old, those at risk of food scarcity, and pregnant women facing similar challenges.
IN NORTHWEST GUATEMALA
The project will launch in the department of Huehuetenango, approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Guatemala City. Official data reveals that 68% of children under five in this region suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Leaders of the philanthropic project, “Guatemalans for Nutrition,” aim to serve 3,000 families in the municipalities of Cuilco, La Democracia, and La Libertad, all within Huehuetenango. These rural areas are characterized by limited vehicular access and inadequate or nonexistent public healthcare, according to expert assessments.
In February, the Castillo Hermanos conglomerate stated that the project is intended to operate for three years or throughout the “window of a thousand days,” a period spanning from pregnancy until a child’s first two years of life, which is considered medically significant in preventing chronic malnutrition.
The mobile camp, which opens on Friday, will be staffed by 30 professionals from various fields and has the capacity to conduct 50 medical and nutritional consultations daily, according to a statement from the project organization.
Silva expressed his hope that the Nutrimóviles concept could be replicated in other regions of Guatemala by organizations interested in supporting the initiative. Currently, 59% of Guatemala’s 18 million inhabitants live below the poverty line, and around 20% struggle in conditions of extreme poverty, based on data from multiple international and local organizations.
In 2022 alone, 125,400 new cases of chronic malnutrition were reported, according to figures from the Institutional Coordinator for the Promotion of Children’s Rights (CIPRODENI). EFE