Social Issues

Privately-owned social program helps children recover from malnutrition in Guatemala

Guatemala City, Dec 6 (EFE).- Guatemalans for Nutrition, the social program of the business group Castillo Hermanos, has helped children recover from acute malnutrition in the northwest of the Central American country, as explained Wednesday after 24 weeks of operation.The social initiative, which began on March 31, said in a statement that its program has helped children recover from acute malnutrition, thanks to its mobile clinics called “Nutrimóviles” camps.After 24 weeks of operation, Guatemalans for Nutrition pointed out that it has managed to assist “75 percent of the children enrolled in the program and diagnosed with acute malnutrition.”

“We feel truly motivated because we have achieved the results we set ourselves to reduce the rates of acute malnutrition in less time than expected,” said José Silva, managing director of Guatemalans for Nutrition.

The initiative, for which planning began in 2022 and operates in the department (province) of Huehuetenango, in the far northwest of Guatemala, is the work of the business group Castillo Hermanos, which earmarked US$15 million for the program.

The heart of the charity project are the “Nutrimóviles”, mobile modules built in Europe that have been designed to help children under five years of age with malnutrition or at risk of lack of food, as well as pregnant women in the same conditions.

According to the program’s management, the comprehensive care model they have employed is being replicated by the Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health in 33 municipalities in Huehuetenango.

“For us, it is vital to have the interest and willingness of government authorities so that together we can fight to reduce malnutrition rates,” said Silva.

According to the project’s management, the initiative and its nutritional results are being monitored by the Catholic University of America in Washington, “which makes this program a replicable and auditable model.”

In Guatemala, 59 percent of its 18 million inhabitants live below the poverty line and around 20 percent suffer conditions of extreme poverty, according to data from various international and local organizations. EFEdte-pbd/jcm/lap(EFE received support from Guatemalans for Nutrition in the preparation of this report)

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