Deworm 2011 kick start successfully

Post date: Jul 13, 2011 9:25:9 PM

VPWA-Ghana 12/7/2011


A group of VPWA volunteers traveled to the village of Darmang to initiate the Deworm Ghana project.

Two billion people world-wide are affected by worms, formally known as Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH) and Schistosomes. Although most worm infections are not life-threatening, the symptoms of worms cause health problems such as stomach pain, coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, swollen belly, blood in stools or urine, and fatigue. Children living in developing countries are at the highest risk of contracting worms; without treatment, these children likely have poor attendance and performance at school and impaired physical and mental developmenVia the Deworm Ghana project, VPWA aims to deworm as many children throughout the provision of a common deworming medication, albendazole. A single-dose of albendazole safely treats worms in infected children. Side-effects are rare. As a result of deworming efforts at schools, childrens’ overall health improves such that attendance at schools can increase by as much as 25%.

For the first day of the Deworm Ghana project, seven volunteers traveled to the village of Darman. After meeting with the village chief, the group headed to Darman Presbyterian School, where the children greeted the volunteers with cheers. The day’s programming began with VPWA volunteers giving a brief educational speech to the children, explaining worms and how the children would be treated with albendazole. In addition, VPWA explained how always wearing shoes outside, avoiding non-potable water, and washing fruits and vegetables before eating can help prevent worm infections in the future. Then, VPWA volunteers administered albendazole to 372 children, ranging in age from five to sixteen years of age. 179 of the students were girls, and 193 of the students were boys.

VPWA remained on site for one hour after administering medication to ensure the children experienced no problematic side-effects from albendazole. During this time, the volunteers spoke with parents about treating and preventing worms while also playing with the school children. In summary, the first day of Deworm Ghana was a success! 10 more schools to go before July 21!

By Nicole Bolton – Deworm 2011 Volunteer - 12th July 2011