WHAT ARE INTESTINAL WORMS?
Many people have seen pictures of hungry children with large, distended bellies in magazines and late night charitable TV infomercials. The reason children have this condition is because they have been infected with intestinal parasites. Unbelievably, intestinal worms infect 2 billion people around the world, and of these 300 million suffer severe and permanent damage as a result of the parasites, according to the World Health Organization. The worms can consume up to 20% of a child’s nutritional intake everyday, causing severe malnutrition, under-nutrition, and even death.
Most of us are aware of the effects malnutrition can have on a child such as poor cognitive development, lethargy, weak immune systems, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, etc. However, many people do not know the extent that parasitic worms exacerbate the problem.
WHAT PLANTING PEACE IS DOING!
From Sudan to the Dominican Republic, Planting Peace is working hard to rid millions of children from parasitic worms. Our largest project in Haiti has already reached 7.9 million children and we continue our efforts to reach many more children. We also are educating people on how to prevent being infected with these parasites and also how to prevent being re-infected once treated. This is an overwhelming task considering the current, substandard living conditions in Haiti and other under- developed countries due to poor sanitation, raw sewage, lack of potable drinking water, minimal health care facilities and extreme poverty. However, we believe through treatment and education we can make a
huge difference in all impoverished countries.
WHAT ONE PILL CAN DO:
The World Health Organization urges poor countries to offer deworming pills to pregnant women after a recent study in Nepal showed a 41% drop in
the deaths of infants born to mothers who took the pills before giving birth.
Of the estimated 562 million school-aged children in the developing world, worm infections are estimated to cause around 16 million cases of mental retardation in primary school children and 200 million years of lost primary schooling.
Deworming school-aged children gives them the potential to earn their way out of poverty. A good example is Japan’s subsequent economic boom due to their successful deworming programs in the 1950s.
A study in Zanzibar, found that anti-parasite treatment can reduce children’s malnutrition by 62% and reduce anemia by 59%.
One penny can deworm a child.
Deworming is the most cost efficient way to erradicate malnutrition.