Thanks to the generous support of donors, a program to improve the health and hygiene of preschoolers in Gaza has treated 6,700 children for intestinal parasites and conducted health education sessions with teachers and more than 5,000 mothers at 52 preschools.
Through a partnership with American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), the donors of Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) made the health drive possible. The effort followed a 2012 pilot program on a much smaller scale.
- Program accomplishments
- 208 health awareness sessions involved 5,084 mothers and 76 teachers at 52 preschools
- 6,500 hygiene kits and brochures distributed
- 6,700 children treated for soil-transmitted intestinal parasite infection with Mebendazole (6,700 bottles)
- 64 children treated from Giardia lamblia with flagyl
- 63 children treated from E. Histolytica with Cystogen
- 6 children treated from Hymenolepis nana with Yomesan
- Based on medical check, 65 bottles of children’s multivitamins given as treatment for and prevention of micro-nutrients deficiencies
In addition to treating children for parasitic infection, the program involved parents and educators in improving their hygiene practices to prevent future infection. Teachers and parents reported that they have implemented frequent hand washing with soap, wearing shoes when outdoors and washing fruits and vegetables.
Studies in Gaza have shown that up to 30 percent of children there suffer from intestinal parasite infection. The lack of proper sanitation and the presence of environmental pollution make children in low-income areas more susceptible to parasite infection. If left untreated the infection can cause serious health complications such as digestive problems, malnutrition, and liver and intestinal damage.
Thanks to the generosity of ZF donors, many of these children will grow up stronger and healthier. To continue to support the health and future of Gaza’s children, please donate today.