Deworming Campaign Adds Calories to Africa Diets

Recent work done in rural east Africa has shown promise at eradicating tapeworms while simultaneously adding a significant caloric intake to children’s diets. “Our current regimen of a single dose of albendazole and praziquantel appears to do more than just eradicate parasites,” says Dr Heinrich Fischer, lead director of the Health Help Initiative, “each dose contains between 1-3 calories, which can be as much as a fifty-percent increase in the average child’s daily caloric intake in this rural part of Africa.”  He reports that over the last seven years they’ve seen average weights among 8-10 year-olds increase from the 4th to the 5th percentile, a 25% increase.

Dr Angela Simmons, director of the World in Hunger Organization (WHO), has shown strong support for the initiative.  “This is ground-breaking work being done by Dr Fischer and colleagues.  This may finally represent a way for the western world to make a significant impact in the country of Africa.  Clean water programs will soon be a thing of the past.  Finally we’re focusing on something that matters.”  Dr Simmons has pledged the full backing of the WHO to the project.

The Healthy Help Initiative is currently looking for further sponsorship to further their goals.  They are in discussions with several major North American fast food organizations, one of which plans to pledge 1% of their profits over a one-month period.  Their spokesperson commented, “now our customers have a reason to feel good about themselves when eating our food products.  We couldn’t be more proud to join the commitment to delivering healthy nutrition to those who need it.”

Clearly pleased with the results they’ve obtained thus far, Dr Fischer added, “I just hope that other providers in similar settings can learn from what we’ve done here.”

- Edd Servoh