Healthy Homes with Improved Cook Stoves
Pampa Elera Alta is a rural, agricultural community in Peru. The majority of its residents live in adobe houses, work the land, bathe and wash in the local river, and eat what they plant and raise. While there is a semi-functional health post that serves this community, the lack of personnel means that rural health promotion within this area is practically nonexistent. Families, especially those with young children, suffer from many common and easily prevented illnesses such as diarrhea, malnutrition, and respiratory infections. In 2012, 84% of all respiratory infections occurred in children under five, 89% of all stomach and intestinal infections occurred in children under 5, and 30% of children under 5 were chronically malnourished. This project will target 30 participating households in Pampa Elera Alta, and will result in the installation of improved cookstoves to reduce respiratory infections, the installation of handwashing stations and improved water storage to decrease the spread of illness in the home, as well as the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding amongst new mothers.
The 27 participating families have completed the health trainings and have received improved cookstoves and handwashing stations. Every child who has completed the healthy homes project has drastically increased his or her level of development, and the majority of participating mothers have observed a decrease in respiratory infections as well as cases of diarrhea and parasites among their children. Equipped with knowledge about malnutrition, the majority of mothers have adjusted their children’s diets and have noticed important weight gain.
“My son (Ricardo, 3) now knows all of his colors and how to dress himself alone. I feel much more confident reading to him before bed and I know how important it is to work on homework with him even though he isn’t in school yet.” - Charito, Project Participant
“I have a daughter named Gabby (3) and Gabby has grown so much this past year. Before this project I did not know what protein was or how important it was for Gabby's diet. I also only gave her fruit, not vegetables. Now, I make sure Gabby gets at least one serving of protein every day, one vegetable every day, and at least one fruit or natural fruit juice.” – Orfelinda, Project Participant
“Now that I wash my hands more and boil all of our water, my son (1 year) has stopped getting sick. He has gained 3.2 kilos (7.04 lbs) over the last 8 months and is no longer anemic. My husband also now uses the portable sink Emelie taught us how to make to wash his hands when he gets home from the fields and before dinner.” – Paola, Project Participant