Quechua Benefit has changed dramatically since its conception, nowhere more so than in our medical programs. Our organization began with annual dental missions to Peru. Over the next few missions, the communities started to communicate additional needs beyond dental hygiene and oral health. We added medical missions to our repertoire that included pediatricians and optometrists. These missions increased our visibility in the highlands, allowing us to connect with many remote communities and their leaders.
In 2014, we changed our focus from annual missions to preventative medicine campaigns delivered year-round.
One of Quechua Benefit’s greatest strengths is the ability to deliver essential services over a vast geographic area directly to remote communities. The third pillar of our program for breaking the cycle of poverty is our preventative medicine initiative, which focuses on delivering medicine that combats second largest disease in the world: anemia.
In Peru, anemia affects over 50% all pregnant women and children under five years of age, and 33% of school age children (K-12).
Anemia has a simple and cost-effective cure. Diagnose and treat the root cause: intestinal parasites. These parasites penetrate the skin through contact with animals, humans or soil; often ingested in contaminated food or water.
The parasites devour 25% of the daily nutrition consumed by their host. A mature parasitic worm can lay up to 25,000 eggs/day. They cause internal bleeding, fatigue, anemia, and malnutrition which can impact social, emotional, motor, and cognitive development.
• Between the ages of 0-5, an anemic child’s brain only develops to 75% of its potential.
• From 2016-2019, our organization (along with our awesome volunteers) have tested and treated over 16,639 children across 38 communities for anemia with a cure rate of 63%.
In the Caylloma District alone, our efforts have reduced anemia levels from 47% to 25% in 2 years. Our preventative medicine campaigns include educational material and training presented by a professionals.
Along with donor assistance, Quechua Benefit’s is able to conducts its anemia prevention program in partnership with of the Ministry of Health of Peru (MINSA) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDU). By involving local entities, we hope to create a program that is easy to deliver, replicable, and sustainable.
Our goal is to reduce the overall level of anemia in our service area to below 20%. Will you help us reach our goal?