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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Make A Difference » Priority Programs » Worm Busters! 

Parasitic worm control in the Americas is a top priority of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation. Millions of children and adults are adversely affected by worm infestations, and the treatment is now inexpensive and accessible. In fact, it can cost as little as 2 cents to cover one essential treatment per child; two treatments per year are sometimes necessary.

De-worming has a very positive impact:

  • children feel near immediate relief from abdominal pain,
  • the worms are expelled from their bodies within about 24 hours and
  • Long-term health status improves: Children receiving treatment will soon be able to concentrate more in school, do better in learning, homework and exams (i.e. cognitive improvements), gain back their appetite, grow more normally, and be less anemic.

The Worm Busters Campaign builds on the successes of worm control efforts in the Americas. Since 2000, PAHEF and its generous donors have committed more than $170,000 to Worm Busters programs undertaken by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Donations have supported the following program implementation, research and evaluation activities:

  • Achieve a sustainable reduction in the disease burden caused by soil-transmitted worms and lymphatic filariasis in a high risk, poverty stricken endemic area in Maceio, Brazil. (March 2003 November 2005. $100,000)
  • Conduct an epidemiological profile of intestinal worms in school-age children in Belize to establish public health actions needed to reduce the disease burden. (March -September 2005. $40,100)
  • Design and implement a World Health Organization Communication-for-Behavioral Impact (COMBI) program for parasitic worm control in a PAHO member country. (January 2005 January 2007. $30,000)

Photo top right: Latin American boy with swollen abdomen due to schistosomiasis
Photo credit: US Centers for Disease Control