(Welcome to End7. Thank you for sharing information about your work through this guest post!)
Moms and Dads from every country want one thing; healthy kids. That’s why groups like PKIDs form—to help educate parents and the general public about specific diseases and to provide families with the support they need.
While the languages, food and clothes may be quite different for some of the kids we work with, we have a lot in common with PKIDs. Unfortunately, for families living in the poorest communities in the world, there is little in the way of support networks or treatment programs for children and adults who have neglected tropical diseases—or NTDs.
NTDs are a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that infect half a billion kids around the world, most coming from families living on less than a $1.25 a day. These kids don’t always have shoes or clean water, which is a problem since they can get NTDs just by doing the things that kids love to do—playing, swimming and other daily activities.
When kids get sick with NTDs like hookworm, whipworm and roundworm, parasitic worms grow in their stomachs, robbing them of food and energy and making them too weak to pay attention in school. For those who live near water sources, flies may carry a disease called River Blindness, which causes rashes and severe itching and can eventually lead to blindness. These NTDs disable and debilitate their victims, keeping children out of school and preventing parents from working. They take away any chance that families have of lifting themselves out of poverty.
But this is a major global health issue that actually has a simple, cost-effective solution. It costs just 50 cents for a packet of pills that treats and protects a child for a year. Since the drugs are donated by major pharmaceutical companies, we just need the funds to get them to the people that need them most and set up treatment and education programs that communities can run themselves. Even better, the medicine is so easy to administer that communities don’t even need medical professionals—who are often in very short supply in developing countries—to administer them to sick kids. The medicine can be dispensed right in schools or community centers.
To learn more about NTDs and to join the movement to eliminate them, visit our campaign on Facebook and tell your friends to do the same. We need help in taking the “neglected” out of NTDs and that starts with you.
Together we can see the end.
By Mara Veraar, Social Media Officer at Sabin
Image courtesy of Esther Havens