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healthcare in peruPeru carries a heavy history of periodic instability that has made the establishment of an accessible healthcare system perilous. The country suffers from an inequitable distribution of healthcare workers. It also struggles with the partition between private and governmentally-sponsored healthcare, the provisions of which skew inequitably toward the wealthy. Peru’s wealth gap shows the richest 20% in the nation controlling nearly half of its income and the poorest 20% earning less than 5%. This inequality is quite literally killing Peruvians. According to the 2007 National Census of Indigenous Peoples conducted by the Peruvian government, over 50% of census-interviewed communities did not have access to any form of health care facility.

Healthcare in Peru by the Numbers

  • The life expectancy in Peru is 74 years, landing the country at 126 out of 224 countries.
  • The probability of a child in Peru dying before the age of five is 1.4%, compared to 0.1% in the United States.
  • Peru spends 5.5% of its GDP on healthcare, compared to the U.S.’s 17.1%, ranking the country at 128 out of 224 countries.
  • In Peru, there are one and a half hospital beds available per 1,000 individuals. This is a number that is especially dire during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Peru clocks in at just under one and one-quarter of a physician per every 1,000 Peruvians in need of medical care.

Structure of Healthcare in Peru

Due in part to fluctuating governmental structures and rulers, Peru currently operates with a decentralized health care system administered by five entities. Two of these entities provide 90% of the nation’s healthcare services publicly, while three provide 10% of the nation’s healthcare in the private sector. This distribution results in considerable overlap and little coordination, depleting the healthcare system of resources and providers. In fact, many healthcare providers in Peru work an assortment of jobs across different subsectors.

As healthcare is a necessary sector of the economy, Peru’s healthcare worker density is increasing, even as health worker outmigration also increases. But since these workers are not equitably distributed, coastal and urban areas monopolize the majority of these providers. Lima and tourist coasts boast the highest distribution of healthcare workers, while rural and remote areas such as Piura and Loreto are home to few health providers.

Impact of the Healthcare Structure on Women

The detrimental effects of inequitable healthcare distribution are most visible in the country’s astonishing maternal mortality rate. In Peru, 185 out of 100,000 mothers dying from pregnancy-related causes, one of the highest in the Americas. The burden of maternal mortality rests squarely upon the shoulders of poor, rural, and Indigenous women. They are dying from largely preventable causes in a massive breach of human rights. These women disproportionately face countless barriers to pregnancy wellness and birth healthcare, including a dearth of emergency obstetric and neonatal services, language barriers and a lack of information regarding maternal health. Peru has implemented policies in recent years to reduce the rate of maternal mortality, such as the increase of maternal waiting houses for rural pregnant women to reside in as they approach birth. Unfortunately, women and health professionals attest that these measures are inadequate and improperly implemented.

The only cause of premature death that precedes neonatal disorders as a result of inadequate neonatal obstetrics is lower respiratory infections. This type of infection is the most likely cause of premature death, and it has remained so since 2007. This illness, too, disproportionately impacts women and children. They are the most likely groups to die from household air pollution, a type of pollution caused by the burning of solid fuels for cooking and heating purposes. In Peru, 429 out of an estimated 1,110 yearly childhood deaths are caused by acute lower respiratory infections resulting from household air pollution. Combined, neonatal disorders and lower respiratory infections cause more death and disability than any other factor in Peru. These are shortening the lives of Peruvian women and children by almost 20%.

Moving Forward with Healthcare in Peru

The healthcare system in Peru is one that suffers many flaws. It is straining to support its people, especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. While the going is slow, the country is striving to reform its healthcare system. Peru is doing this by reforming its healthcare system in the direction of universal coverage – an achievable but certainly strenuous goal. Since vigorously implementing healthcare reform in the late 90s, Peru reports coverage of 80% of its population with some form of health services. While this number is far from ideal, it is evidence that the Peruvian government is not only cognizant of but concerned about its healthcare failures, and it is striving for a fuller coverage future.

 

– Annie Iezzi
Photo: NeedPix

Plant Powered Lamps Light Up Peruvian VillagesPeru is a developing country in Latin America. It has one of the region’s best economies with a 50% growth in per capita income in a decade. Despite the country’s growing success, there is a considerable gap in electricity access between rural and urban parts of the city. Only about 62% of people in rural areas have access to electricity. Fortunately, a group of students and professors from a Peruvian university are developing a solution to combat the issue. The plantalámpara is a lamp powered solely by plants that will light up Peruvian villages.

How Did the Idea Come About?

A hurricane occurred in the Amazon rainforest area of Peru that left 173 inhabitants of the Nuevo Saposoa region without electricity. Also, about 42% of the rural population did not have electricity at all. The Nuevo Saposoa village is remote and isolated from nearby cities. It is a five-hour boat ride from the nearest town, so the village could not receive reliable access to electricity after floods from the hurricane destroyed power lines.

Consequently, the inhabitants could not perform daily tasks after sunset, like studying and cooking. A professor and group of students at the UTEC University in Lima developed the plantalámpara to solve the issue of the lack of electricity. The plantalámpara lights up Peruvian villages. The developers encourage people to get back to their normal lives.

The plantalámpara is made in a box filled with a grid of electrodes and a plant growing inside. Photosynthesis, or the capturing of sunlight energy by plants, powers the box. When the plant goes through photosynthesis, its waste decomposes in the soul and produces electrons. As a result, the lamp captures those electrons and converts the energy into battery power. It can light up a 50-watt bulb for up to two hours.

Benefits of the Plantalámpara

The lamp provides clean and sustainable energy to forest villages without using gas, oil, or dirty fossil fuels. The plant-based light is entirely pollution-free. Additionally, plants offer 100% renewable energy at a low cost. According to a lead professor of the project, any plant can be used for the lamp, though some work better than others. The plantalámpara protects the beautiful rainforest, lights up Peruvian villages, and provides the Nuevo Saposoa community with more opportunities and a better quality of life.

It also gives Peruvian residents the possibility to work on schoolwork and other tasks past sunset. UTEC intended to put the digital community in the shoes (or eyes) of a forest dweller to understand how a lack of light can affect daily actions. The team originally provided 10 of the lamp prototypes to Nuevo Saposoa. The hope is that these lamps will eventually replace gas and oil lamps.

The plantalámpara serves as a crucial part of reducing the gap between rural and urban areas of Peru. Its amazing eco-friendly technology helps to light up Peruvian villages while not harming the environment at the same time. With this invention and more, Peru will continue to grow and expand, as more opportunities become available to all.

Shveta Shah
Photo: Flickr

While it may have been one of the first nations in the Americas to take significant preventative actions against the coronavirus, Peru is still reporting over 208,000 COVID-19 cases, and is now ranked as the second most impacted South American country behind Brazil. After the implementation of stay-at-home orders, curfews and boarder closings, it is strange to see both the number of cases and deaths continuing to rise. One explanation as to why Peru is continuing to deal with more cases is that Peru’s poor do not have the luxury to stay at home and Peruvian food markets can be a hub for spreading coronavirus.

The Necessity of Food Markets

Why venture out? Work, food and banking transactions are all done on the streets of Peru and not in the comfort of one’s home. Only 49% of Peruvian households have access to a refrigerator or freezer, meaning that daily excursions to Peruvian food markets are necessary in order to keep food on the table.

Furthermore, the Peruvian food markets provide another challenge, maintaining social distancing. On April 14, CNN affiliate TV Peru captured images of a Lima food market where shoppers waited for hours in lines or in masses while wearing masks but not practicing social distancing. This scene was then replicated outside of banks as people queued up in an attempt to access coronavirus relief funds. Peruvian food markets have quickly become hot spots for contagion, not just for shoppers but also for vendors.

Proving to be an Issue

In a local market, just outside the San Martín de Porres district, “163 merchants tested positive for the virus, after 842 rapid tests.” In response to the rising cases, the Peruvian government implemented more bans and lockdowns to try and stop the sudden influx of cases and extended the state of emergency until June 30. This solution, however, does not address all circumstances across Peru. The fact still remains that the nation’s poor often have no choice but to venture out daily to access the resources they need.

Entrepreneurs feel Economic Strain

Despite the dangers surrounding vendors and shoppers, Peruvian food markets are only half of the equation. The global pandemic has also wreaked havoc on small producers and entrepreneurs.

People who work in small scale production don’t always have easy access to local markets which can lead to two things:

  1. The producers are unable to sell their products in the cities and thus receive less income than they normally would.
  2. Markets will begin to see a decline in produce and goods, which will result in crowded markets and higher prices.

Although Peru is starting to grant transit permits to these small producers, the process has been slowed down due to the coronavirus. While numerous solutions have been proposed by the Peruvian government, only a few actions are igniting real change in providing help for citizens living below the poverty line.

One such solution is being enacted through the German partnership program: Welthungerhilfe. The international relief program focuses on ending food insecurity across the globe. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has dedicated relief efforts to communities most heavily impacted. In Peru, this can be seen in the community of Húanuco. Working with the Peruvian Institute of Development and Environment (Instituto de Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente), Welthungerhilfe implemented a delivery service, to connect local farmers and producers with markets and consumers in more urban areas. This effort will keep locally owned farms employed during the crisis and fight the food scarcity affecting local markets.

For the Peruvian people living in poverty, COVID-19 has uncovered many of the nation’s shortcomings including food insecurity. Producers, vendors and shoppers alike are struggling to operate within new health regulations and provide for their families in the crowded streets of Peruvian food markets. As a result, international relief agencies, like Welthungerhilfe, have been emerging to help those in need.

– Elizabeth Price
Photo: Pixabay

scholarships
Lack of educational opportunity is one of the principal reasons why people may get stuck in the cycle of poverty. In many places, people are at least required to have a high-school level of education to get a minimum wage job. Most high-paying positions, however, expect people to have a college degree education, something that for many low-income Peruvians, is very hard to obtain.

In the year 2015, Peru ranked 64 out of 70 on the International Programme for Student Assessments: A standardized test that measures student’s performance on academics. The problems don’t lie within the lack of teachers or a good infrastructure; it lies within the fact that most Peruvians don’t have access to a decent education. Most of the most competitive schools and colleges are in major cities, and with usually high tuition costs.

This difference is prevalent in the countryside where some children have to walk for hours to go to school. In the Peruvian Andes, children are less likely to go beyond high-school education and much less pursue a college degree. As of the year 2017, only 16 percent of young adults were pursuing a college degree, principally because of the inability to pay the high tuition. Fortunately, a governmental program called Beca 18 (Scholarship 18) may soon change that.

The Story of Beca 18

Beca 18 is not the first program that has given scholarships to well-deserved students. The National Institute of Scholarships and Educational Loans, was founded in 1972 and lasted until 2007. While they did offer necessary scholarships and loan payments, they only centered in Lima. After 2007, the new Office of Scholarships and Educational Loan opened, with a more polished selection of students and with a clear focus on trying to reach scholars located on problematic areas of the country, but by all merit have achieved academic excellence.

The Office of Scholarships and Educational Loan worked until 2012, the year on which the former president Ollanta Humala “upgraded” it, becoming the National Program of Scholarships and Educational Loans, also known as Beca 18. The program works as an administrative unit of the Peruvian Ministry of Education with 24 regional offices, giving around 52 236 scholarships around 25 regions from 2012 to 2016. Most of the students that benefited were living in extreme poverty.

How the Program Works

The first thing that applicants have to know is if they meet all the appropriate requirements. For Beca 18, a student’s living conditions have to be below the poverty line, attending the last year of high school or have recently graduated and been on the honor roll. The Scholarship has other ramifications that cater to different students, like Beca Albergue, that centers around students that lived in foster care.

After meeting the requirements, the next step is applying to the National Exam, which can be done by just accessing the scholarships webpage during the call-up time, that happens around December each year. Each student needs to present their essential legal documentation; however, depending on what portion of Beca 18 the student is interested in they may submit additional paperwork. After taking the exam, hosted by many public and private schools around the country, each student receives guidance to get into their desired college. Once accepted, the process of applying for the Scholarship can begin, only students with satisfactory grades on both the National Exam and their college entrance exam, are granted the scholarships.

What Costs Are Covered

Depending on each of the holder’s family and economic situations, the scholarships cover the costs of the admissions exam, full tuition and other work materials, such as a laptop. If needed, the awards include accommodations, transportation, and pocket money. A private tutor is also an option but only for public universities, as privates often offer that service to its students. These, of course, help students that either came from the Andean of Rainforest Regions of the country or lived in an extreme poverty situation.

Famous Recipients

As mentioned before, Beca 18 is an excellent opportunity for many people that couldn’t afford higher education but had exceptional academic abilities. Like Omar Quispe, a recipient that now is a developer for ElectroPeru. He is currently working on a project that could bring good quality electricity to his native Huaylas, a district surrounded by extreme poverty. Another famous case is of Abel Rojas Pozo, that upon graduation started to help local guinea pig farmers spend their business. These efforts were to make his hometown one of the centers of guinea pig exports.

With an educated population, the chances of escaping poverty are higher. And like the recipients of Beca 18, they can use their new-found knowledge to help their families and their communities.

Adriana Ruiz
Photo: Wapa

Poverty-Solving TechnologyWhen thinking of drones, the image that comes to mind for many people is of warfare drones and precision strikes. This is not all drones can be used for, however. WeRobotics is an organization that uses drones for humanitarian practices. This organization utilizes the positive impacts of robotic technology to address global problems such as poverty, health and post-disaster reconstruction.

WeRobotics established itself as a not-for-profit organization in December 2015. Since then, their progress has been astounding. WeRobotics and its Flying Labs work with NGOs, government agencies and universities in over 20 countries to spread this beneficial poverty-solving technology.

The company sets up Flying Labs in various countries that serve as a “hub of robotics technology, where staff host training sessions, webinars and teach people how to use technology.” These labs are also “incubators” for the formation of new, local businesses. There are now flying labs in Jamaica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Chile, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Réunion, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Japan, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

The robotic technology in these Flying Labs is used for a variety of purposes.The drones can be used for mapping, cargo delivery, drone journalism and conservation. In Nepal, for example, the drones were used to map out the damage done to a region after an earthquake. The map made by the drones was then printed out and annotated by locals to determine strategies and priorities for reconstruction. They also used swimming drones to better understand glacial lakes, which lakes formed by the melting of Himalayan glaciers. These lakes, when forming, have a “tsunami” effect on the areas around them. The swimming drones are used to understand how these lakes are formed and to predict new formations and determine vulnerable areas.

In Peru, the drones are primarily used for cargo delivery of important medicines and vaccines. In the Peruvian Amazon, many people live in areas that are not close to roads or highways. Thus, the main form of transportation is river boat, which can be slow, unreliable and costly. The drones are able to make deliveries of important medicines, such as anti-venom, in a fraction of the time it takes the river boats. In one example, anti-venom was delivered by a drone in 35 minutes, when it would have taken a river boat 6 hours. This can be the difference between life and death. In this way, the drones become poverty-solving technology as they remove barriers created by regional poverty.

One of the most important tenets of WeRobotic’s work is their focus on democratization and localization of technology. This means giving the technology and training to locals with no strings attached. They train locals to be able to use the technology themselves so that the project is respectful of local communities’ autonomy and is also sustainable. Locals in Nepal were able to complete an unfinished map on their own after the WeRobotics team left the site. Because the locals are given access to the information that makes the technology work, they are able to come up with solutions to problems themselves.

Some things that the company notes can be improved are the affordability, repairability, durability, simplicity and battery life of the drones.

This poverty-solving technology has a promising future. It has already provided local communities with means of mapping and transportation, things that are underappreciated in well-off countries, but necessary for civilian life. The possibilities for these humanitarian drones are far-reaching. With more and more people being trained around the world at these Flying Labs, there is more possibilities for improvements and innovative solutions.

– Sarah Faure
Photo: Pixabay

Legalizing Coca Leaf Production
A recent study on the benefits of coca leaf legalization has spurred lobbying efforts in Colombia, with advocates encouraging the country to legalize its production rather than attempting to eradicate the crop. Using coca leaves has been a traditional practice among indigenous South Americans for thousands of years. Before the leaf was harvested and manufactured into cocaine, it was chewed or made into a tea. It provides medicinal and health benefits like treating nausea and can be used for an energy boost.

Before industrialization, when working long days of hard labor, workers—especially some of the underprivileged farmers—would chew coca leaves for the effect of the stimulant but also to satiate hunger pangs while working on an empty stomach. Coca leaves also provide essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamins like A, B1, B6, C and E. Chewing and brewing coca leaves is a natural way of taking dietary supplements.

Peru and Bolivia See Benefits from Legalizing Coca Leaf Production

The government of Peru formed the National Coca Company of Peru (ENACO) in 1949, pushing for legalizing coca leaf production in order to make items and medicines derived from coca leaves. Farmers growing leaves for chewing to be sold to ENACO got their land certified for legal growth in 1978. ENACO does not only cultivate legal coca leaves for local traditional uses, but also sells its products around the world. One of the most common uses is as a natural anesthetic for eye surgery; ENACO is one of two companies that produce coca leaves for this medicinal purpose.

Coca production in Bolivia, however, is more recent. Bolivia has the third world’s largest crop of coca leaves (after Columbia and Peru) with about 67,000 acres used for farming. In 2011, the Bolivian Community Coca Company was founded by the government for the legal cultivation and purchase of coca leaves to be made into flour, ointments, and other products. In 2013, the Bolivian government sought to market coca-based toothpaste to the public with the intention of battling the illicit use of the drug. By using the drug for products like toothpaste or flour, there will be more use of coca leaves for legal industrialization and less for illegal drug trafficking.

How the Legal Coca Leaf Could Help Colombia

Legalizing coca leaf production in the long term could benefit Colombia economically, politically and socially. Allowing coca leaf farms could offset expensive anti-drug efforts like crop substitution, where the government buys out farmers of their current crop and looks to replace it with a different, legal product. However, crop substitution is costly and non-sustainable, especially if the demand for cocaine does not change. If the uses for coca leaves remain the same while their cultivation is restricted by the government, it will merely increase the price of the drug and make crime worse.

Bolivia and Peru are examples of the benefits of legalizing coca leaf production. These countries show that the medicinal benefits can be harnessed to create a market that effectively limits the illicit use of the leaves by taking away from the crops that would be used to make cocaine. Opening a legal market for coca leaves to be made into useful items like flour, ointments, toothpaste and other products would help lower the amount of drug trafficking and create new opportunities for coca leaf farmers to sell this indigenous plant.

– David Daniels
Photo: Flickr

infrastructure in peruIn July 2017, George Mallett from The Market Mogul put it simply: “Peru is at a juncture.” The development of infrastructure in Peru has had a mixed record. The country was devastated by floods in early 2017, leaving many in poor living conditions. However, the country has invested billions in its transport infrastructure that only affects some of the population and is financed by debt. It is important that Peru spend and build in ways that benefit the whole population.

In 2016, prior to the floods, the government of Peru pledged $33 billion toward infrastructure projects. The money was pledged to construct highways, airports and a port. Local governments would also be involved in the projects, which was seen as a great way to involve communities. The President intended to extend potable and sewerage water services to 100 percent of the population over the next five years.

Since the floods, the country’s government has been working on projects to rebuild, as well as improve, the infrastructure to prepare for future disasters. Water supply is an important issue that the government wants to make sure is accessible to its entire population. There are plans to build reservoirs in the mountains.

Its first priority is rebuilding towns and communities, then working on the infrastructure in Peru for future disasters. The government also wants to control where people settle so that people are living in areas that are reachable and have adequate living conditions and resources.

Since Peru wants to continue growing its economy and improve its reputation in Latin America and the world, it must improve its infrastructure for the entire population. As such, it is important to make sure that many people in Peru will benefit from these projects.

The mining and commodity industry in Peru is growing very quickly, so organizations, like The Nature Conservancy, are focused on minimizing the impact of these industries on the environment and the surrounding communities.

The Nature Conservancy recognizes this “boom” as a great opportunity for the country, but wants to make sure that the environment is not affected. It is pushing for zero environmental impacts as well as the development of hydropower plants. It also focuses on informing Indigenous communities about the social and ecological effects the mining industry can have. Infrastructure in Peru must reflect and react to these implications.

At the moment, Peru is at a crossroads: it must rebuild its poorer infrastructure while allowing for economic growth through its mining and commodity industries. The U.N. has pushed for the country to implement multi-hazard warning systems and educate citizens about the environmental risks of these endeavors.

In short, Peru must continue to improve its infrastructure and garner international support for its initiatives. The steady improvements to infrastructure in Peru will have lasting, positive effects on its population.

– Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr

Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru: Good News for FarmersPeru has been one of the fastest-growing economies over the last decade but poverty in the Peruvian Sierra remains high. Poverty rates are far above the national averages and especially peak in rural areas.

In 2010, the largest share of household income in the Sierra came from agriculture. There exists strong evidence that agriculture growth is more effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors. The Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru was implemented in order to bolster agricultural production and productivity in targeted areas of the Sierra with the ultimate goal of improving the financial capacity of impoverished farmers. The project is multifaceted, focusing on:

  • Modernization and rehabilitation of collective irrigation
  • Irrigation technology improvement
  • Capacity building and support to production and marketing
  • Formalization of water rights and the national water rights administrative registry
  • Project implementation support

Since being established in 2010, the Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru has made significant contributions to the growing agricultural sector. The project successfully increased irrigation water flow and frequency and irrigation efficiency. Irrigation efficiency in the Peruvian Sierra in 2010 averaged about 22 percent, however, by 2016 that number was increased to 72 percent thanks largely to the Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru.

Modernization and rehabilitation efforts for collective irrigation systems expanded the reach of 87 water user organizations that improved their irrigation service delivery to 18,758 farmers. Those 18,758 farmers then irrigated 14,770 hectares of land. These numbers turn into a significant increase in water tariffs collections, improving financial capacity in the Peruvian Sierra; 80 percent of farmers paid water tariffs in 2016, compared to just 50 percent in 2011. Improved irrigation also allows farmers to increase the value and quality of their productions. A significant number of farmers who increased their irrigation capacity also began to farm high-value crops.

The Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru was successful with each of its goals and targeted beneficiaries. The priority was to most significantly benefit farmers by improving their access to markets and their capacity to produce high-value crops. The project was also able to benefit water user organizations at regional and local levels. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation intends to develop a follow-up operation to scale up the results of the Sierra Irrigation Project for Peru.

– Jamie Enright

Photo: Flickr

Help People in Peru

While the poverty rate in Peru has dropped over the last year, there are still people living without access to basic human necessities. There are several programs and organizations that help people in Peru by putting them in a position to live a better life.

In Peru, over 3 million people are living in poverty and over 5 million have no water resources, according to HELP International, a globally responsive organization. Over 40,000 more people have left poverty compared to last year, but the government is expecting a decrease of 3 percent this year because of floods resulting from El Niño earlier this year and a graft scandal that has halted public works.

The flooding caused by El Niño killed about a hundred people and damaged thousands of homes. Organizations in Peru like Save the Children and ADRA Peru have been working and accepting donations since then to help those affected.

Global Giving is another nonprofit organization resource that lists the specific needs of people in certain regions living in less than desirable conditions. On the Global Giving website, you can find a list of projects accepting donations for relief for the thousands that were forced to abandon their homes.

By giving help to people in Peru, you would be helping the one-third of Peru’s population that lives in poverty. This help goes a long way towards continuing the progress that Peru has made in its fight to reduce poverty.

Jalil Perry

Photo: Flickr

Project CASITAProject CASITA, created by Partners in Health in Peru, identifies infants and toddlers with developmental delays and trains parents and caregivers to stimulate children and encourage age-appropriate behavior. The program is designed to help children aged six to 24 months who exhibit signs of potential developmental delay, such as lack of communication and mobility. The program began in November 2013 and in 2016 had enrolled 180 children and families. Researchers found that 85 percent of children exhibiting early developmental delays showed improvement after time in the program. The program is located in Carabayllo, a province north of Lima.

Community health workers aid the mothers and teach them activities to do with their children to encourage mobility and language development. The community health workers help parents design toys to exercise their infants’ tongues and play games to promote language development. Toddlers also work on picking up small objects to develop their fine motor skills. Some health workers meet parents weekly in their home and other parents attend education sessions at a central location. Health workers and caregivers typically work together for three months.

Grand Challenges Canada helps to support Project CASITA. Initially, Grand Challenges Canada provided a grant of $199,000. In May 2016, they provided a second grant to help Partners in Health expand the program to reach 3,000 children. In order to successfully expand, 30 additional community health workers were trained.

Partners in Health also cooperates with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to ensure programs are integrated and sustainable on the community and municipal levels.

Project CASITA supports families in other ways as well. They provide food baskets and mental health services. Families also receive help in applying for national identification cards which grant them access to a variety of public services.

Sarah Denning
Photo: Flickr