It is important to remember how vital child de-worming programs are in Haiti. Almost ever child in Haiti is suseptible to intestinal worms because of the unsanitary conditions that plague much of the country.
Once a child has been infected with worms they can suffer from stomach pain, coughing, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, swollen belly, blood in stools or urine, fatigue and listlessness. Chronic infections often times will stunt a child's physical development.
The potential harm to a child caused by worms goes beyond health. It has been proven that worms have an adverse effect on school attendance rates and on the amount of possible earnings that a child can make as an adult. In fact, regular treatment can reduce school absenteeism by 25% and increase adult earnings by over 20%.
Providing de-worming medication like albendazole to children with worms will improve their lives.
Below is information that details our albendazole distribution plan throughout the first quarter of 2013. We will also be administering vitamin A and multivitamins to thousands of children and pregnant/lactating women. You can find information about the importance of these supplements below as well.
Why Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is essential to immune function especially in children under five who are most vulnerable to common infections and diseases. Together with health advocates worldwide, distribution of vitamin A has helped reduce the estimated number of deaths in children under five from 16 million in 1970 to less than 8 million annually in 2010.
A proven solution to VAD is at our fingertips. Vitamin A supplementation is simple, cost-effective, and together with zinc supplementation was ranked by a group of world-renowned economists as the top international priority for addressing the world's greatest global development challenges. Unlike other treatments, one high-dose vitamin A capsule can provide one child with sufficient vitamin A for six months. This alone can reduce under-five child mortality by about 24% in populations at risk of vitamin A deficiency. It can also help prevent and reverse one of the most severe effects of VAD, xerophthalmia, a disorder of the eye that can lead to permanent blindness.
Essential nutrients are a critical part of health, including physical and cognitive development. Children who suffer from vitamin deficiencies are unable to reach their full potential. Health, education, productivity and human achievement are compromised.
Over two billion people worldwide are deficient in essential nutrients. New and expecting mothers and children under five are the groups most vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies. Because they have a relatively greater need for vitamins and minerals, they are more adversely affected by those deficiencies, particularly of vitamin A, iron, iodine and zinc. Many lack more than one of these essential nutrients.
Multivitamins for children and pregnant and lactating women provide daily recommended amounts of key vitamins and minerals important for a range of functions essential to good health.
Example: Samaritan’s Purse requested multivitamins because they see many cases of anemia in children and pregnant and lactating women. This is caused by iron deficiency.
13 planned vitamin A. multivitamin, and albendazole distribution
In total we will be providing the following in the 2013:
- 6,500 doses of 100,000 IU vitamin A for children 6-11 months (enough for 6,500 children)
- 17,000 doses of 200,000 IU vitamin A for children 12-59 months (enough for 8,500 children)
- 17,000 doses of 400mg Albendazole for children 12-59 months (enough for 8,500 children)
- 5 288,000 doses of multivitamins for children under, enough for 780 children
- 136,080 doses of multivitamins for pregnant and lactating women, enough for 373 women
We worked with partner non-governmental organizations in Haiti to disburse the vitamin A, multivitamins, and albendazole. Information regarding the number of children each group will provide for is below:
Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Guidance – Located in Degand Carrefour
Number of children to be provided vitamin A: 3,000 children 6 months – 11 months old and 3,000 children 1-5 years old
Number of children to be provided albendazole: 600 children 1-5 years old
HaitiHelper Clinic in Ranquitte
Number of children to be provided vitamin A: 400 children 6 months – 11 months old and 600 children 1-5 years old
Number of children to be provided albendazole: 3,000 children 1-5 years old
Samaritan’s Purse – Provided vitamin A to Samaritan’s Purse ran clinics located in Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Leogane, and Cite Soleil.
Number of children to be provided vitamin A: 3,000 children 6 months – 11 months old and 5,000 children 1-5 years old
Number of children to be provided albendazole: 5,000 children 1-5 years old
Number of children to be provided multivitmains: 780 children 1-5 years old
Number of pregnant and lactating women to be provided multivitamins: 373 women