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Life Threatening Worms
10/11/2016 2:45:00 PM by: Hannah S. Hunter

My blog this week veers off from the places I have been taking you to in the last several months. I love statistics and facts. Somehow though they seem so cold and sterile when they involve people’s lives and welfare.

This week this became very personal for me when my beloved Kenyan son, Dan, was struck down with such a severe attack of cramps and bloody diarrhea. Although blood work was inconclusive, dysentery is suspected. He required hospitalization and IV rehydration therapy. To us in this first world, this is no biggie. But, in the third world, death lurks close in the shadows.

Here are some statistics for Kenya: The life expectancy is 53. Your children and grandchildren will only have the memory of you being alive. There is 1 doctor for every 10,000 people. Over 50% of the doctors practice in Nairobi. Greater than 51% leave to practice in countries where medical practice is more lucrative.

Priority of clean or adequate water is not part of the government infrastructure. Water would take care of so many ills.

When we think of worms in the first world, we wrinkle our nose and deem those who have it must be dirty and poor. We can quickly treat and annihilate these worms. Life threatening does not enter this conversation; however, in the third world, it becomes potentially lethal for all ages—from infant to gramma.

Animals are the wealth of the third world. They often roam free everywhere. You will encounter them perusing kiosks in the marketplace, wandering in to hear your sermon, or stamping through your drying laundry or garden. And, all the while dropping they are leaving their droppings indiscriminately. Children, often bare bottomed, play in the same dirt and put things in their mouth. This is a perfect breeding ground for worm infestation by the eggs laid.

Worms set up housekeeping in the intestines and can steal 25% of the food and nutrition consumed. This sets up a nutritional AIDS that can become deadly. Anemia, lethargy, impaired growth, and measurable decrease in IQ are observed and reported. This is the cause of most deaths before age 5.

And it is all preventable!! A tragedy that should be eradicated. For about 2 cents—yes 2 pennies—a pill of Albendazole given every 6 months to a child can kill the worms. Our team lost a daughter of about 20 months. She contracted malaria, but the anemia is what was the cause of death.

Bless GOD we have organizations like MAMA Project. That is local in southeastern PA. Or, we have The Worm Project. This comes under the auspices of the Franconia Mennonite Conference. They call themselves the Worm Warriors. I love that title.

Yes, this is a shameless plug. Make your churches aware of the need that is quite simple to solve. Also, the international conference for the worm project is in this area—in Franconia—this year on Fri., Oct 7.

I hope this blog spurs you to research and get involved. The above organizations are not responsible for the content or opinions asserted in this blog. These are only the ones of the blogger.

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