Dear MAP Friends,
If you saw a crying child, would you stop to help her? For most of us, the answer is, “Of course.” It’s only natural to reach out to a vulnerable child.
When a team from MAP International took a trip to Guatemala recently, they met doctors who are confronted every day with children in need. Yet all too often these doctors are unable to help.
Said Dr. Yusimil Carrazana, a doctor working in some of the poorest areas of Guatemala City, “It’s heartbreaking to not have medicine to give to a sick child. To watch a child continue to suffer is just terrible.”
That’s why MAP International is working with partners to bring pediatric antibiotics to children who either lack access or can’t afford these life-saving medicines.
More than 5,000 children die every day from preventable infectious diseases. These are the type of illnesses American children recover from routinely: strep throat, pneumonia, ear infections. But sadly, without antibiotics, they can result in long-term disabilities or even death when left untreated.
In this issue of the newsletter, you’ll read some of the inspiring stories of children—and families—whose lives have been changed by receiving these antibiotics. What truly inspires me is the potential of these children. One day they may grow up to change the world!
As the CEO of MAP International, we were recently honored with the 2018 Human Excellence Award by the Hope Collaborative at Harvard University for our lifelong commitment to helping heal children around the world.
I was so touched by these kind words: “The 2018 Human Excellence Awards, given by the Hope Collaborative, are proud and excited to be honoring Steven Stirling. Steve sees the potential for greatness in every child, especially those with serious health needs who can easily be overlooked in societies without sufficient health care resources,” said Kevin Sheehan, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Hope Collaborative.
As you may know, because my family lacked access to a simple vaccine, I contracted polio as a child. While I am grateful for the wonderful life God has given me, it is more difficult every day because I cannot walk without the aid of braces and crutches.
I am deeply motivated by my own experience and my faith in God. I know that every child we save is loved by God and has potential to change the world.
And I am deeply grateful that you share that vision and through your support, children all over the world are experiencing the gift of health. ✚
With deep gratitude,
Dulce Maria is an excellent student.
She never misses school and at just 10-years-old, she is mature beyond her years. That’s why it surprised her teacher when she had a hard time paying attention in class and began to rest her head on her desk.
Soon it became apparent that Dulce Maria was very ill.
“I touched her forehead and she was hot to the touch. She said her head and throat hurt,” said her teacher, Edna Galicia. “But despite her illness, she did not want to miss school.”
Dulce Maria lives in a rural area of the Guatemalan municipality of San Cristóbal Acasaguastlán.
During the week, her mother works in a nearby town processing sugar cane, so she lives with her grandmother. But her grandmother has no cell phone and the nearest clinic is a three hour walk away. Her grandmother watched her growing more and more ill, but there was nothing she could do.
Finally, her teacher alerted Dr. Mayra Franco at the town clinic about Dulce Maria’s condition. Dr. Mayra, as she prefers to be called, spends most mornings in the clinic and then makes “house calls” during the afternoons to the citizens living in outlying rural areas. So Dr. Mayra made the long journey to check on Dulce Maria.
“When I examined her, it was clear she was very, very sick.,” says Dr. Mayra. “She had a severe case of strep throat that had gone untreated for quite a while.”
Without treatment, strep can turn into rheumatic fever, causing long term damage to a child’s heart and lungs. It is the leading cause of heart damage for children in developing countries.
Fortunately, Dr. Mayra had recently received pediatric antibiotics from MAP International, in partnership with Food for the Poor. The antibiotics were exactly what she needed to help treat Dulce Maria’s condition.
“She started to feel better in just a few days,” says her grandmother. “I am so very grateful to God and those who made it possible for Dulce Maria to receive this free medicine,”she says.
“Many of us here are very poor,”she continued. “But we love our children and want the best lives for them. I am so glad that Dulce Marie feels better and can study again. She loves school.”
Recently Mayor Jeaneth Ordonoz visited Dulce Maria’s school. When the children were asked, “Who wants to be mayor one day?”Dulce Maria’s hand shot up and her eyes sparkled.
Thanks to the antibiotics you helped MAP supply, Dulce Maria may one day make her dream come true. ✚
Most Americans are well acquainted with amoxicillin, a common antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. In fact, the pediatric formulation is one of the most often prescribed medicine for children in the U.S., since it is effective in treating ear infections, strep, pneumonia, and other common infectious diseases.
But in resource-poor countries, pediatric amoxicillin is either difficult to find or impossible to afford, except for the very wealthy. “Pediatric formulations of amoxicillin are not always available outside of the large cities or hospitals,” said Dr. Eduardo Gallo, who works in a rural area of Guatemala.
Dr. Yusimil Carrazana, who works among the urban poor in a Guatemala City, puts it even more starkly, “When my patients need pediatric amoxicillin, most can’t afford to pay for it. Our clinic cannot donate medicines to everyone so I have to go to many sources to find someone who is willing to provide it. It’s heartbreaking to make very sick patients wait for me to track down a source of medicine for them while they grow sicker every day.”
Fortunately, both doctors now have access to pediatric amoxicillin thanks to a partnership between MAP International and Food for the Poor and they are able to give the medicine free to patients who can’t afford it.
Lilliana Garcia, whose 8-year-old son is a patient of Dr. Carrazana’s, wept as she thanked donors for making the medicine available. “My son has been sick for three years with ear and throat infections,” she said. “He has already missed so much school. I love him so much and am so grateful to God and those who have made it possible for him to receive this medicine.” ✚
Q: Is there really a need for children’s antibiotics in the world?
A: YES, antibiotics that are specifically formulated for children are some of the most needed medicines in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
The lack of antibiotics leads to nearly 13 million cases ofuntreated acute illnesses in children. Untreated pneumonia and sepsis alone account for over one million childhood deaths annually.
MAP’s new Pediatric Antibiotic Initiative aims to reach children in high-need countries in Central and South America, Asia and Africa with life-changing antibiotics.
MAP is ideally positioned to effectively respond to the urgent need for pediatric antibiotics. With its long history of providing medications globally, decades of experience in supply chain, logistics and program management, and numerous partners on the ground, MAP is poised to have an immediate impact through its robust distribution network.
MAP is providing educational and awareness materials for the proper use and treatment with pediatric antibiotics to help preserve the vitality of these life-saving medicines for generations to come. ✚
MAP International recently earned the 2018 Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.
By sharing metrics that highlight the progress MAP is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation.
“In accordance with our long- held belief in being transparent about our work,” said Steve Stirling, MAP International President. “We are excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly and highly visual manner.”
Since MAP International was founded nearly 65 years ago, it has been known as an organization that delivers quality medicines to those in need with remarkably low overhead.
In 2017, MAP impacted the lives of 14.3 million people by providing millions of healing doses of medicines much-needed health supplies countries around the globe. MAP did this all with a staff of fewer than 50 people in the United States and 110 people internationally.
By updating the GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to the Platinum level, MAP can now easily share a wealth of up-to-date organization- al metrics with supporters as well as GuideStar’s online audience. Visit www.map.org/accountability for more information. ✚