Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Update on Project

By the sounds of it, the health campaign in Pestel is going great!    The health workers have already reached over 2800 kids in the first 3 weeks!   Sister Fidelis has been out-and-about, taking lots of photos of the workers in action, so I'm anxious to see those.  I will send some along when I get them!

The workers are finding a lot of malnutrition, and we'll be able to report exact numbers from their data.  Also, the deworming (anti-parasite) medication is a big hit!  The parents are thrilled to see the dead worms after the medication is given!  One kid had about 60 worms!
And another kid had over 100 worms (they counted them!).   
This is going to lead to BIG improvements in their growth and health.   We'll measure the kids again later this year to see what kind of growth improvements occurred as a result of this.  We received the donations from a very generous organization called Vitamin Angels.  They have been fantastic to work with and I'd encourage you to support their work.  For places like Pestel these kinds of programs accomplish a great deal for very little money, as you know.  You can imagine that the villages are likely to be even more receptive to the campaign when we run it again at the end of this year because of how these seen the tangible results of the medication working.  That'll allow us to build on this success and make strides in educational initiatives, for example.  

We're also exploring a potential arrangement with a group that works in Haiti called Medika Mamba.  They are graciously providing us with a $500 donation of "RUTF" = ready-to-use-therapeutic foods.  RUTFs are the mainstay of therapy for severe malnutrition.  They have a program to rehab severely malnourished children back to health.  The challenge after that will be keeping them out of malnutrition, so if you have thoughts or want to help with that planning, let me know.  

I'll plan to pick up the donation in Port-au-Prince on my next trip, and then Sister Fidelis will be piloting the project with one of her nurses.  If we find that the program is successful, and if we can come up with a sustainable way to keep it going, we very well may embark on one of the most pressing and important campaigns for Pestel--malnutrition.

To put modern medicine in a bit of perspective, antibiotics will do very little good in a child with severe malnutrition.  Antibiotics help the body fight infection.  The key here is that the medications help the body.  The body must still ultimately kill the remaining infection.  

Be encouraged!  God has done and is going to do great things in Pestel!    He is mighty and powerful, and I just love that He finds it good to reveal His power and might in these ways.