Although global rates of anemia have been decreasing, the prevalence of anemia has remained constant in Peru and, in some demographics, has even increased. In response to this challenge, Nutri-H, a local company in Peru, has developed cookies enriched with locally sourced ingredients to combat anemia. Nutri-H has partnered with the government to distribute these cookies to the most vulnerable groups, including children, adolescent women, and pregnant women. Following successful results that demonstrated increased hemoglobin levels in seven Peruvian communities, municipalities are now collaborating with Nutri-H to expand the distribution of these cookies through 22 anti-anemia programs across Peru.
This case study aims to analyze the mechanisms that contributed to the unique corporate structure of Nutri-H, which combines elements of both the public and private sectors to encourage the distribution of its products to those in need. The study will also explore how Nutri-H cookies serve as an example of a low-cost, low-tech innovation that repurposes food industry waste products for local agriculture and culture, providing a sustainable solution to anemia.
Hard to Reach
Individuals in rural areas of Peru at risk for anemia and face health equity issues such as poverty, food insecurity, geographical isolation, and lack of reliable access to healthy food.
Iron deficiency anemia is a global issue that affects many countries and requires a combination of complex solutions and
coordinated efforts between participants across sectors. These include:
- Government support of small and medium-sized businesses can strengthen their programs and provide stronger incentives for local businesses like Nutri-H to emerge.
- Government involvement in transporting and distributing the anti-anemia products, whether at the local or national level, enables small- or medium-sized companies like Nutri-H to reach populations that need them most.
- Earning trust between key stakeholders within the public-private partnerships and consumers is imperative when managing and distributing products.
- Mediators can help bridge the gap between the public and private sector.