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ANITI PARASITE PROGRAM

 

In the Fall of 2009 the Haiti Committee of Holy Family Church decided to partner with Operation Blessing International (OBI) to offer an “anti parasite program”  in Haiti.  The program would be initially provided in Baptiste to children and families but later expanded to other areas in Haiti to include the Diocese of Hinche in the central plateau and to the entire country.

 

Intestinal worms are a significant problem and cause of health problems for people in Baptiste, Haiti. The worms add to the problem of mal nutrition with the majority of young children.  Inexpensive treatment is available and safe.  Ideally everyone (except nursing mothers, pregnant woman in their first trimester, and children under the age of one)  should be treated and educated in prevention of reinfection.  Initally 20,000 tabs of mebendezol were made availavible through OBI with a matching grant from Lisbet Hanson and John Kenerson.

 

Our Haiti Education Committee, under the leadership of Brian Alexander and Kathy Dowdy,  helped to identify nearly one thousand students in our five parish schools in the Baptiste area to receive the first administration of the medication.

 

Educational materials and a children’s coloring book were prepared in Creole to be used to promote the program.  Assistance was provided by Jean Vinson , children’s book illustrator, and Marie Helene Hall,  translator. The materials were printed by OBI with funds from our Haiti Committee and support from children in the preschool at Holy Family  and a special donation from one of our members.

 

In mid December 2009 a team of four from Holy Family visited Baptiste.  One of their many tasks was to administer the first dose of the medication to more than 900 children.  The delegation included John Kenerson, Dave Plum, Brucely Joseph and Tim McCarthy.

 

The delegation also met with representatives from the Children’s Nutritional Program of the United Nations,  Partners in Health,  the Ministry of Health in the Central Plateau  and the Bishop  of Hinche to further promote the program.  All were positive in their support and endorsement of the program.

 

A team from Holy Family will return to Baptiste in early June 2010 to administer the second dose of the medication to the children in Baptiste.

 

We are grateful for the partnership with OBI for their direct assistance in providing the medication at a significant low cost

for this program and for their commitment to eradicate intestinal worms in Haiti and other developing and underdeveloped countries in the world.  It has also been a privilege  to share this program with others to include twinning parishes and other health providers in Haiti.         

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Haiti Outreach, Church of the Holy Family                                                                              
Virginia Beach, Va 23452