Chapter 1 Introduction

Peru has made great strides in reducing chronic childhood malnutrition. According to the World Bank, people from around the world visit the country to learn their approach to treating the condition. But Peru has been less fortunate in combating another public health problem that’s not as well-known. Anemia is a blood disorder that results from a lack of iron which is needed to carry oxygen to the blood. And in Peru it affects 2-in-5 children under the age of 3, slowing their development.

Anemia is presenting a huge hazard to the future of Peruvian children and their adult health. However, the roots of this problem are extremely complex because numerous interplaying factors drive the persistence of anemia - ecological, biological, social and political.

Hemoglobin levels used to diagnose anemic children between six and 59 months of age are as follows:

  • Mild: 10.0-10.0 grams/dL
  • Moderate: 7.0-9.0 grams/dL
  • Severe: <7.0 grams/dL

Untreated or unaddressed anemia can have devastating, long-term impacts on children, specifically their growth. Anemia that goes untreated can affect mental development and function, resulting.

1.1 Research Question

“Determine the performance of a machine learning algorithm based on socio-demographic predictors as an alternative to traditional diagnostic test to the identification of anemia in children under 5 in Peru”