Intestinal worms can take away up to 20% of a child's daily nutritional intake. In Haiti many children are already malnourished and cannot afford such losses. These worms cause children to suffer with abdominal cramps and diarrhea, keeping them out of school. There are currently millions of Haitians suffering from worms.
A single dose of de-worming medication will rid a child of intestinal worms such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and others. Once the worms are gone, the pill will protect the child for an additional four months after. The pills also prevent the spread of worms in a community. All this is at a cost of a mere fraction of a penny to produce each pill.
De-worming programs have been so effective that they are listed among the recommended approaches to combating poverty in Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel's widely acclaimed, new book, "More Than Good Intentions." They cite studies that have shown that de-worming programs can generate an extra year of education for only $3.50 per student. The next most cost effective program, uniform give-aways, costs $100 to achieve the same goal.
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