Meet Ana, one of our Mother Counselors in Guatemala!
Ana (29) lives in the community of Chajbul, an hour and fifteen minutes from Cobán, with her husband Luis (32) and their three children Joselyn Rosangela (10), Alis Mayerli (3), and Ligia Fabiana (16 months).
Prior to working with MTI, Ana reports that her children became sick frequently from pneumonia and diarrhea and she did not know how to adequately treat these or where to take them for help.
She said that within her area, many families did not have latrines and defecated in the area around their home. Children were frequently sick from drinking contaminated water, and families did not have health information to respond adequately to their children’s illnesses, resulting in a number of deaths of young children within the community.
Ana started volunteering as a MTI Mother Counselor in 2010, and said that since then she has participated in MTI trainings and repeated these trainings with the families in her care. Through MTI she has been the beneficiary of both a fuel-efficient, ventilated stove and a latrine. She said her children no longer suffer from the same frequency of respiratory infections because they no longer have smoke in their home. The stove has reduced their family expenses both by eliminating the need to purchase medications, and because it uses less wood than a traditional open fire.
Through MTI trainings sessions given by Community Health Workers and the network of Mother Counselors, Ana said families have been educated on the prevention of pneumonia and diarrhea, as well as child nutrition, and personal care during pregnancy and after birth. Ana noted the community is much healthier as a result.
She said families in her community now have their own latrines through MTI, which has reduced the incidence of diarrhea. MTI and Mother Counselor volunteers perform home visits to ensure that the latrines are well cared for and do not contaminate the area. Families now value important hygiene practices in their homes and contribute to caring for the environment by using their latrines.
Ana also noted that MTI trains villages leadership committees, which has strengthened the community so that it can grow and develop since the leadership committees support the village in learning the health topics MTI disseminates.
Thank you for your continued support of our Community Health programs! As Ana has attested, you are changing the health and lives of families and children all around the world. Thank you for your generosity! Story by Brittn Grey