GlobeMed at UT - San Antonio partners with Sacred Valley Health to support health education and epidemiological research.
GlobeMed at UT - San Antonio + Sacred Valley Health
GlobeMed at the University of Texas – San Antonio | San Antonio, Texas
Sacred Valley Health | Cusco, Peru
46.7% of children under five suffer from anemia in Cusco, Peru.
About the Partnership
Sacred Valley Health (SVH) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote health in the underserved rural communities of Peru’s Sacred Valley. The remote indigenous communities surrounding Ollantaytambo are medically underserved for a variety of reasons. Rural communities lack access to primary medical care as a result of geographic isolation, poor road conditions, and irregular transportation. Poor socioeconomic conditions, malnutrition, lack of basic services, and poor education further worsen health outcomes. SVH trains community health workers (promotoras de salud) who serve their home villages, providing health education and basic care. They also identify, accompany, and advocate for patients who need to seek more advanced care at a government clinic. Promotoras develop working relationships with personnel at the nearest government clinics in order to increase community members’ access to services. Promotoras serve as agents of change and health advocates for his or her community.
Sacred Valley Health will partner with GlobeMed at UTSA to complete an Anemia Survey of selected communities in the Peruvian Andes. An Anemia Survey will use a hand held hemoglobin testing meter to screen a representative sample of the Sacred Valley Health project population. The Anemia survey will target children less than five years of age and women/adolescents aged 14 and above, as those are the populations most likely to be affected by anemia in the area. We additionally would like to screen reference populations – at least one community that does not currently participate in the promotora (Community Health Worker) program and a sample of the population from Ollantaytambo, where presumably, iron/heme-rich foods are more readily available. Children who are found to be anemic will be accompanied to the government health outpost by the promotora in participating communities and followed up to assure medication compliance and provide preventative education. In addition, the local government health outpost will receive notification of high-risk community members living in their catchment area.
GlobeMed at UTSA hopes to raise $1,200 this year for Sacred Valley Health’s anemia project. The project will determine the rate of anemia in the Sacred Valley by conducting epidemiological tests. The goal is to take appropriate interventional measures to avoid the illness, which has been proven to impact cognitive ability and socioeconomic status. The project will also teach the surrounding communities about the dangers of anemia in childhood, placing an emphasis on childhood incidence.
Learn more about GlobeMed at UT-San Antonio and donate to their cause. Interested in joining the chapter? Contact [email protected].