Peru’s SNP turns to “iron navy” to battle anemia in fishing areas

Peru’s National Fisheries Society (SNP) has partnered with government health organization EsSalud, to launch a campaign that seeks to combat childhood anemia in the country's fishing areas.

The drive is in line with the government’s goal to reduce childhood anemia from 43 percent to 19 percent by 2021. In comparison, in the US, anemia – the most common blood condition – affects about 5.6 percent of the population, particularly women, young children, and people with chronic diseases, according to WebMD.

The so-called “Armada de Hierro” (iron navy) campaign arrived this month in Callao, with the support of fishing companies Exalmar and Diamante, SNP president Cayetana Aljovín said in a press release. This makes Callao the fifth city the campaign has visited, following drives carried out in the areas of Chimbote, Coishco, Pisco, and Puerto Malabrigo, where 770 medical services were provided to children. Other areas set to benefit include Piura, La Libertad, Ancash, Lima, Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna.

In a first stage, the operation aids the children of the employees of the fishing companies belonging to SNP, but work is underway to reach an agreement with the Health Ministry to extend coverage to the children who live in the zones of influence of fishing activity.

The name of the campaign refers to the benefitting areas’ ties to the sea, as well as the fact that the most common type of anemia is due to iron deficiency. It is treatable with diet changes and iron supplements.

Armada de Hierro activities include anemia screening, demonstrative cooking, tasting of iron-rich dishes, nutrition talks, pediatrics discussions, vaccination, as well as promotional activities and preventive management of anemia.

Photo courtesy of Peru’s National Fisheries Society


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