I looked up deworming on google the other day and all that came up was information about our pets. We live in such a different world than the children VisionTrust serves. A recent UNICEF study suggests that up to 75% of children in regions very similar to our VisionTrust countries have children living with parasites (worms). There are seven main ways parasites can enter the child’s body, all of them begin with exposure to human and animal waste. If the community does not use a latrine, parasites get into the water supplies and then into our mouths, either by drinking the water or on food washed in this water. “Waste” left near crops can get onto the fruit and vegetables. Flies can carry parasites and then land on food. Unwashed hands carry parasites either into our mouths or onto food. These are all daily occurrences that leave our children at great risk.
At VisionTrust we’re taking action against parasitic infestation, which can seriously threaten the growth and development of children—causing micronutrient deficiencies and impairing children’s cognitive capacity and learning abilities. Our Global Health Team is partnering with local heroes to design long-term water solutions, promote activities related to hygiene and sanitation to change health behaviors and most importantly and immediate we are deworming children.
The best part is that treating children of any age for worms is one of simplest and most cost-effective interventions when it comes to improving a child’s health.
For example, Roundworms are the most prevalent and cause a significant decrease in the body’s ability to absorb critical vitamins such as Vitamin A. The child’s inability to absorb critical nutrients makes their malnutrition and anemia worse, which further slows their ability to grow into healthy adults. The children’s physical fitness and appetite are negatively affected and their performance at school is compromised. The constant assault on the immune system due to infections also reduces the child’s ability to fight other infections such as Malaria.
The problem is large and has significant impact upon our children. Help us take on this change both today through deworming and tomorrow through better water and sanitation facilities. Our children’s physical and mental growth depends on all of us! In most of our VisionTrust countries, for less than three dollars per year you can assure that a child is treated for this widespread health challenge.
In Liberia, you can protect a child from worms for the entire year for $2.70. Join us!
Resources cited: http://www.who.int/intestinal_worms/resources/en/ppc_unicef_finalreport.pdf?ua=1; http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2004/WHO_CDS_CPE_PVC_2004.11.pdf?ua=1; http://tilz.tearfund.org/en/resources/publications/pillars/encouraging_good_hygiene_and_sanitation/w3_understanding_how_diseases_spread/#sthash.4v5096kn.dpuf