Stories of Impact

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Working For A Healthier Guatemala

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When a BBF shipment with the drug Metformin arrived in Villa Canales, Guatemala, a herd of people gathered outside For a Better Life social service agency. Used to treat Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes, Metformin is difficult for many patients in Guatemala to access.

Diabetes is the third leading cause of death in Guatemala, an exacerbation of high treatment costs, and other barriers. A study published in the British Medical Journal earlier this year estimates that 66% of diabetes patients in rural Guatemala describe diabetes treatment as a financial burden, and 21% needed to take out loans or rely on family members to offset the cost. When left untreated, diabetes can have severe consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.

For A Better Life serves 14 impoverished villages, where many people live in makeshift homes comprised of sheet metal and dirt floors and use a latrine as a sanitary sewer. By working with on-the-ground partners to provide Metformin at no cost to diabetes patients, BBF removed a financial barrier blocking the path to a healthier in Guatemala. “We were very fortunate to have received this supply of medicine that meets the needs of this community,” Byron Paredes, Food For The Poor’s in-country representative, said. “The turnout [at the agency] was great. We are truly thankful to Food For The Poor and its generous donor [Brother’s Brother Foundation] for their continued support for the people of Guatemala.”

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