A Malnutrition Intervention in Rural Ecuador - MEDLIFE

A Malnutrition Intervention in Rural Ecuador


Our summer interns in Ecuador are making a malnutrition intervention in Andean communities. JP Gorham, Dartmouth ’11, shares insights into their accomplishments and the ongoing efforts to make a sustainable impact.




the Malnutrition intervention Challenge in Ecuador:

After my first MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic experience in Cebadas, Ecuador, I felt a deep desire to contribute more. Researching malnutrition in Ecuador revealed a concerning scenario, with a 23% prevalence among children under 5, soaring to 40% in the Andean region where our interns are working this summer.

Government Initiatives and Challenges:

Ecuador’s recent program, Desnutrición Cero, aims to intervene in malnutrition issues. However, challenges arise when NGOs operate independently of government priorities. Our encounter in Colta emphasized the importance of collaboration with the government to avoid duplicating efforts and resources.

Community-Centric Approach:

MEDLIFE’s collaborative approach ensures we work closely with communities and align our efforts with government initiatives. In Colta, we reassured the community leader of our commitment to enhancing existing programs, avoiding the pitfalls seen in other regions.

Strategic Partnerships and Impactful Projects:

Working with the Ministry of Public Health, our interns are planning a health-promotion video to raise awareness about chronic malnutrition. Recognizing past enrollment issues, we aim to address barriers to access and promote Desnutrición Cero in impoverished communities, actively contributing to the program’s success.

The Power of Student Involvement in a malnutrition intervention:

Despite lacking technical skills and perfect Spanish, committed students like JP demonstrate the ability to work effectively with communities. MEDLIFE’s philosophy embraces students, leveraging their positive energy to bring about positive change in the regions they serve.

The ongoing internship in Ecuador exemplifies the potential impact of collaborative efforts, emphasizing the significance of aligning with government initiatives. By empowering communities and strategically leveraging student involvement, MEDLIFE continues with it’s malnutrition interventions to improve health outcomes in Andean regions.