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2012 Deworm medical outreach kick start successfully

posted Jul 11, 2012, 12:43 PM by Deworm Ghana

Our first outing was to P.W.C.E. Demonstration Primary school in the section of Aburi, in the area of Akuapim South, Ghana.  After a day of orientation and planning, there were 8 excited volunteers of many different nationalities including the UK, US, Ghana, and Sweden.  Hayford Siaw led the way as we drove from the VPWA center in Darmang to Aburi through beautiful agrarian regions and up to a small peak where the weather was pleasantly cool with a light mist.

The children received us enthusiastically as we hung our “Deworm Ghana” banner and gathered the 222 primary students in one area of the school grounds and the parents in attendance in another area.  Mark from the UK gave a rousing introduction to the students on what parasitic worms do to our bodies, and how to prevent them.  The methods he taught the children included handwashing and avoiding going barefoot in the soil.  The children were great listeners and following this introduction, they lined up to receive the chewable tablets which were being given by the volunteers to cure the students of soil transmitted helminths (STH).   Meanwhile, Mr. Siaw discussed the importance of treating their children in the future for these worms on a regular basis.  He also stressed the preventive measures and fielded questions.

As a new part of the initiative this year, weight and height were recorded for future calculation of body mass index.  VPWA feels this data will be important in assessing the overall health and well-being of the children served by the program.

The teachers were an important part of the process, dutifully recording each child’s name, gender, and the numerical values.   Volunteers including Kathy from the US, Amelia and Johanna from Sweden, Mark and locals such as Simon, Eric, and Stephen (Educational Health Director for the Municipality) and of course Hayford conducted measurements and treatment management. The kids then stepped over to a VPWA volunteer to receive a tablet of Albendazole, a broad spectrum treatment for STH.  The tablets were chewable and we were told they tasted sweet!  Each child drank some water and then received a sticker for their cooperation. 

Our next stop was also in Aburi, at Aburi  Methodist Primary.  There the children also eagerly received the information and willingly came forward for their weight, height, and medication.  All in all a very successful day!