Eating Orange for Better Health in Burkina Faso



Helen Keller International improves the vitamin A intake of women and children in Burkina Faso through the production and consumption of orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, a vitamin A rich food.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

In Burkina Faso, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a serious public health issue. It causes childhood blindness and compromises the immune system, which, in turn, increases the risk of death from diseases such as malaria, measles and diarrhea. In pregnant women, VAD causes night blindness and may increase the risk of maternal mortality. In poor countries like Burkina Faso, many people don't have the resources to grow, and therefore eat, nutritious foods.

How will this project solve this problem?

Compared to the traditionally-grown white-fleshed sweetpotato, orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes (OFSP) have high levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Research has shown that just one medium-sized potato (125 grams) provides primary school children with over twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. HKI provides training and supervision to community groups and farmers who receive the potato vines to help them understand the importance of vitamin A.

Potential Long Term Impact

Food-based solutions, like orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes (OFSP), are a promising approach to ensure entire populations get the vitamin A they need. HKI's programs focus on women and children, who are the most vulnerable segment of the population.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $540

Funding Information

This project is now in implementation and no longer available for funding. Received funds will be used to accomplish concrete objectives as indicated in the project's "Activities" section. Updates will be posted under the "Project Report" tab as they become available.

Donors' contributions and pledges to this project totaled $540 .  The original project funding goal was $10,000.


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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Emily Chau

New York, New York United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Eating Orange for Better Health in Burkina Faso
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