Action Against Hunger's work in Peru

Tackling Anaemia: Nashari’s story

Action Against Hunger’s educational workshops on nutrition are improving the health of families in Peru

By Christine Kahmann

Apr 15 2015

Two-year-old Nashari lives with her mother Lida in Pampay,a remote area in the rural Andean region characterised by poverty and poor healthcare. Families often get their food from their own little plots of land but Nashari’s mother, Lida, owns no land to raise chickens, grow crops and other nutritious food. 

Since birth, Nashari has had problems with malnutrition and anaemia, a condition where a lack of iron in the body leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells or haemoglobin. As a baby, Nashari was refused an important vaccination because she was underweight. 

Concerned for her daughter’s well-being, Lida decided to take matters into her own hands and began attending learning sessions on how to improve Nashari’s diet and health. But despite improving Nashari’s diet and feeding her iron-rich food such as sangrecita (boiled blood), Nashari’s haemoglobin remained low. 

This was when Action Against Hunger launched a series of programmes aimed at improving the nutritional status of families in the region, including a number of workshops and educational sessions.  Informed about the programme by her sisters, Lida found out more about iron-rich foods. She learned for example the importance of consuming liquids rich in Vitamin C after eating foods that contain iron, as they work as an iron absorbent. She also began to understand exactly what foods would improve her daughter’s health such as feeding Nashari more fruits and diversifying her diet with staple foods like chickpeas and quinoa. She even started producing her own beef jerky (dried meat, rich in iron). 
 

Today, Nashari is free from anaemia. The workshops Action Against Hunger run are helping many mothers in the community, who through word-of-mouth are able to gain the same knowledge on what to feed their children.

Nashari is one girl who is healthier today, but there are still many children who are suffering due to their parents’ lack of understanding of the condition. The workshops can help hundreds of mothers like Lida give their daughters good health and satisfy their simple desire to have a healthy child. 

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Image credit: ACF-Peru