Diarrhea is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five in Nicaragua. Baby Elaine came dangerously close to being a part of those statistics.
When the nine-month-old baby arrived at the local hospital, she was suffering from her third bout of diarrhea and dehydration. She presented symptoms of thirst, tiredness, and dry lips and eyes.
Elaine’s father earns about $33 a month as a construction worker and her mother takes care of the children. “It is hard for us to buy medicine,” says her mother, Mayela.
When they arrived at the hospital this time, treatment was available thanks to a shipment of medical aid from HPIC that included oral rehydration for children.
Dr. Santos Reyes, a pediatrician at the children’s hospital where Elaine was treated, was happy to receive the donated medicine because “it does not cause any complications in children.” His colleague, Dr. Reyes Mairena, treated Elaine and was “very glad since electrolyte solution with grape flavour facilitates the ingestion for children and the quality is excellent.”
Without the medicine donated by HPIC, the hospital could not meet the needs of its young patients. “We treat many children with diarrhea every day,” says Esperanza Correa, Head of Medical Supplies at the hospital. “During the rainy season, the number increases by 40 per cent. We will be treating more children.”
Baby Elaine, along with the other children treated with the electrolyte solution, was quickly rehydrated, to the great relief of her mother. “I give thanks to God because there are organizations that care for poor people like us,” she said.