Eating Orange for Better Health in Burkina Faso

by Helen Keller International (HKI)


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.

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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.


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.

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.


Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotatoes

Organization Information

Helen Keller International (HKI)

Location: NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Helen Keller International (HKI)
Emily Chau
Project Leader:
Emily Chau
New York, New York United States

Funded Project!

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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