Health Education and De-Worming Programme
About 7,500 children will no longer face the risk of contracting worms thanks to Lewa staff volunteers. Recently, the Lewa Clinic staff, accompanied by several other volunteer staff launched a de-worming campaign for children attending a number of the Lewa-sponsored schools – and the results are stunning!
In the schools surrounding the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a majority of the school age population is believed to be infected with worms, causing a risk of anemia and affecting the child’s ability to concentrate on his or her studies. This, in turn, has a negative impact on the child’s development.
Globally, millions of children are infected with worms. Worms are a significant cause of malnutrition, stunting growth and can cause severe anemia, dysentery, delayed puberty and problems with learning and memory. Transmission is easy, especially where hygiene and sanitation are inadequate. A child walking barefoot can pick up hookworm; by putting a dirty finger in her mouth, she may ingest roundworm eggs. It is not uncommon for a child to carry up to 1,000 hookworms, roundworms and whipworms that deplete blood and nutrients.
So recently, thanks to the generous support of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, Lewa embarked on school visits to provide treatment for de-worming the children. The medicine was administered at the schools, highlighting the important role that school rooms play in addition to providing education. This campaign was extremely successful and was also complimented by health and hygiene education for all the children. The deworming exercise will go a long way in ensuring increased school attendance and free from worm’s related illnesses.
Lewa is also grateful to Monica Villiger – Lewa Switzerland – who was greatly involved in this exercise during her recent visit to Lewa in October.