Peer Education in Pamplona: An Unexpected Weapon in the Fight Against Anemia

Education is an integral tool for improving the overall health of communities and promoting healthy lifestyles; likewise, it is a core component of MEDLIFE’s work in Latin America. Our most recent educational workshop in Peru focused on nutritional problems that plague the communities of Pamplona Alta, such as anemia, infant and child undernutrition, and the risk of parasitic infections. This workshop combined MEDLIFE’s resources with those of a local leader, Sara Torres, who helped organize and run the event.

We first met Sara on a Mobile Clinic in her community of El Trebol. Sara runs a comedor (community kitchen), which receives formal government support through subsidies on specific food items. We learned that not only was Sara already providing low-cost meals to members of her community, but she was also passionate about educating them about the importance of a well-balanced diet. Together, we developed a workshop to teach tips for battling malnutrition, including how to use a somewhat surprising ingredient  — chicken blood — to combat anemia.

Watch the video below for highlights from the event:


According to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Peru, “approximately 11 million people (38%) do not cover their minimum daily calories intake (2,100Kcal).” The WFP also notes the importance of using sangrecita (chicken-blood pudding) to prevent anemia, and has published a cookbook of over 40 household recipes containing sangrecita. More on the WFP program can be found here.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.