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Acta Médica Peruana

On-line version ISSN 1728-5917


MEDINA-IBANEZ, Armando; MAYCA-PEREZ, Julio; VELASQUEZ-HURTADO, José E  and  LLANOS-ZAVALAGA, Luis F. Knowledge, perception, and practices regarding micronutrient use in Awajun and Wampis children (Condorcanqui, Amazonas, Peru). Acta méd. Peru [online]. 2019, vol.36, n.3, pp.185-194. ISSN 1728-5917.

Objective: To explore knowledge, perception, and practices within families, local actors, and healthcare personnel (HP) in Condorcanqui Province, with respect to micronutrient use (MMN) in 6- to 36- month old children. Materials and Methods: This was a qualitative study performed between June and August 2015 in Awajun and Wampis communities in Rio Santiago, Cenepa, and Nieva districts. The study included 38 in-depth interviews, 13 focus group meetings, and 28 direct observation activities. Results: Persons in the community understand that anemia leads to pallor and wasting in children, and that they may treat this condition with their own local ‘medicine’. Healthcare personnel understand that it is important to educate users and there are difficulties for access and cultural adaptation for performing their activities. They recognize that training may have been insufficient, but they do their best aiming to sensitize the community. MMN are given with the first meal of the day and combined with local food. Positive and negative comments (perceived as causative agents for diarrhea and nausea, or being rejected because of their taste and smell) were observed with respect to their acceptability. There is some feedback on information collected in office visits and household visits, but the use of MMN cannot be fully ensured. Conclusions: Any intervention must incorporate cultural elements and clear messages about benefits and contents of MMN. Strategic alliances should be established and inter-institutional activities should be performed with different social actors, in order to facilitate sensitization and access for using MMN as well as basic food components.

Keywords : Micronutrients; Indigenous population; Anemia; Children; Peruvian amazon.

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