DESEA Peru works with 4700 residents in 11 marginalized rural Andean communities in a comprehensive, participatory program to improve health outcomes and to develop sustainable community economies. Families receive biosand water filters, community health education, vitamins, and support in the development of economic activities. Local women trained as community health workers facilitate all aspects of DESEA's program which serves to empower women and achieve sustainability.
In the Peruvian Andes, families in isolated communities face contaminated water sources, limited education and health services, and few employment opportunities that lead to poor health and well-being. Malnutrition and gastrointestinal diseases are endemic in this area and maternal and under-5 child mortality rates are amongst the highest in the Americas. DESEA works with communities on sustainable solutions to address these needs for 4700 residents.
DESEA uses a sustainable integrated four-component program: 1) Water Treatment and Maintenance consists of the installation of biosand water filters in houses and schools 2) Health Education includes the training of community health workers known as Qhalis and community-wide health education courses 3) Health Services Delivery consists of community nursing and yearly medical campaigns and 4) Economic and Social Development creates income generating projects for women and men.
The primary, long-term outcome of this program is to foster healthy and economically sustainable communities. Through improved health outcomes including increased birth weights/heights and better nutrition, families are stronger and equipped to reach their full earning potential. Economic opportunities also support health and improve overall well-being. 4700 residents benefit from 520 household water filters and 14 qhalis who monitor and support health and economic development initiatives.