Jyoti. (Photo by Esther Havens)
17 million. That’s the number of kids who were provided with de-worming treatment through schools last year in the state of Bihar, making this program the largest school-based de-worming program in the world!
This program impacts children’s lives on a massive scale - not only does Bihar have one of the largest populations in India, but it also has a lot of worms: all 21 million school-age children in the state are at risk of infection and more than half are infected. The good news is that the fight against worms has already started in Bihar: in 2011 a powerful partnership between the state's departments of health and education, supported by the De-worm the World Initiative (DtW), treated those 17 million at-risk kids by training over 140,000 teachers and rolling out through a network of 67,000 schools.
The not-so-good news is that re-infection can occur in these same kids – de-worming is not a one-time solution. That’s why DtW continues to support the government to conduct the program on an annual basis, ensuring that kids who have already been treated continue to benefit, and with the goal of reaching even more at-risk children in 2012.
Jyoti, pictured here, is a 12 year old girl who felt the impact of de-worming first hand in the initial round. Plans are underway to treat her again in September, but we need all the help we can get to guarantee a successful program round. After all, it takes a lot of planning and logistical coordination to reach 17 million kids, all on one De-worming Day.
There are few interventions that can compete with de-worming’s low cost and high benefit. For every dollar donated to the Bihar program, 4 children will receive the benefits of de-worming – and each treated child is anticipated to gain 15 more days in school.
Help us reach our goal! Multiplied by several dollars and many people equals a lot of healthy kids who can be ready to learn, grow, and achieve.