UTSA GlobeMed: Analyzing and Treating Iron-Deficiency Anemia in the Indigenous Women and Children of Peru

UTSA GlobeMed[1] is a student-run nonprofit that works with a non-governmental organization in Peru called Sacred Valley Health[2] (SVH), which elevates the public health of women and children in the Sacred Valley region by employing the “promotora” model[3]. This model involves educating indigenous women to become health care advocates, prepared to handle a variety of primary care issues, which supports a culturally-competent and sustainable elevation of community health and avoids perceived imperial undertones associated with other global health endeavors. UTSA GlobeMed is committed to health equity and involved in a project with SVH to address iron-deficiency anemia in women and children. This relationship manifests in the form videoconferences and electronic correspondence during the academic year and on-ground work during the summer. Last summer, a group of five students were selected to live with villagers, provide ancillary support to SVH, and track the incidence of anemia by performing blood tests using HemoCUE devices. Promotoras continue to administer these tests throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, the results of which will shape the treatment plan when the next cohort of five students goes to Peru. For this Blueprint for Social Justice, the author will outline the treatment component of UTSA GlobeMed’s iron-deficiency anemia program that will commence in Summer of 2017, as well as elaborate on how increased funding would benefit the existing survey component.

[1] http://www.utsaglobemed.com

[2] http://sacredvalleyhealth.org

[3] Eng, E.; Parker, E.; Harlan, C. “Lay Health Advisor Intervention Strategies: A Continuum from Natural Helping to Paraprofessional Helping”. Health Education & Behavior. 24 (4): 413–417.