Monday, March 20, 2017

2000 kids reached

These are all empty bottles.  What does that translate to?  In the 1 year I've been here, 2,000 children have received anti-parasite medication, and over 500 children 5 years old and under have received life-changing Vitamin A.  
Vitamin A distribution
Why Vitamin A?  I receive Vitamin A from the an organization called Vitamin Angels.  And from their web site they state, "Our bodies use vitamin A for many purposes. If this essential nutrient is lacking while children are still developing, they can get sick, go blind and even die. While the symptoms are not always visible, vitamin A deficiency puts the health and survival of children at risk every day."

Vitamin A's top sources are from Beef liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, apricots, broccoli, butter, eggs, and winter squash.  All but eggs and butter (although most people here eat margarine as butter is much more expensive) are not available here.  So, everyone in the country is chronically deficient in Vitamin A.  

Waiting for their parasite meds

Why are parasites a problem?  Contamination comes from contaminated food, water, contamination from someone else infected, and in the soil -  and can be completely asymptomatic until there are serious problems.  The results of parasites in someone include anemia, weight loss, malnutrition, and tiredness.  In an extreme case, the parasites can clump in the bowels and cause a bowel obstruction, and surgery becomes the only option.  As less than 50% of the country has access to potable water - parasite infestations are an assumption in almost everyone.

My goal is to go to as many schools as I am allowed to and distribute medication to every child I can get my hands on - these simple medications can change a child's life.

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