Online Program

Peruvian community women empowered to reduce anemia in children under five

Monday, November 4, 2013

Claudia Llanten, MD, MPH, Calle Las Camelias, 855 Departmento 301, Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), Lima, Peru
Cecilia Izarra, RN, Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), Lima, Peru
Heather Platter, MS, Public Health Certificate, Help Them HOPE, Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Background: Catholic Medical Mission Board and the Sisters of Bon Secours have collaborated to empower underprivileged and marginalized women as community health workers (CHWs) 3 Peruvian towns. The three-year partnership aimed to improve health of women and their communities through training on 16 key health practices aimed to reduce death and disability from childhood illness. Special attention was paid to nutrition and water and hygiene issues. This research examines their effectiveness. Methods: CMMB Peru conducted semi-structured interviews and surveys among CHWs to assess their achievements. Forty interviews were used to define CHWs personal experiences, with focus on knowledge and skills training and personal development. A random survey with 37 beneficiaries who received CHWs visits answered a client satisfaction questionnaire. This data was triangulated with project anemia data and other health indicators to assess health outcomes for children in the program. Results: In 30 months, 40 CHWs provided iron supplementation to children under-five identified with anemia. Their work reduced anemia by over 50% in Chimbote (52% - 16%), Huancayo (84.7% - 41.2%), and almost half in Trujillo (57.4% - 33.9%). 94% of beneficiaries surveyed reported trust in the CHW guide in community health topics. 92.5% of beneficiaries have improved hand washing skills thanks to CHWs. More than half of CHW had improved their reported self esteem and leadership skills. Conclusions: Empowerment of CHWs was found to be a tool to improve health conditions in communities among children under five and CHWs themselves.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Basic medical science applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits of empowering CHWs for child health improvement in Peru Assess the positive impact of participation of CHWs in a community-based child health and nutrition program Demonstrate the change in health outcomes for iron-deficiency anemia for children under five participating in CHW-led programs in Peru

Keyword(s): International Health, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced public health practitioner and medical doctor. I have a M.D. Degree in General Medicine from Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia and a Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree from the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. I currently implement a community-based nutrition and child survival program, and have implemented many public health interventions in the past.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.