In November more than 1,100 Gaza area preschoolers received treatment for intestinal parasites and their mothers were educated about hygiene and disease prevention through a grant from Zakat Foundation of America (ZF).
The mother of one program participant, Om Fayez lives in a small three-room warehouse in North Gaza with her husband and six children. Her husband became disabled in a car accident and can no longer work. Her daughter Malak, age five, is a scholarship student in one of the preschools where the Preschool Health Program is operating.
“Malak doesn’t eat well and she seems lean and underweight,” Om Fayez said. Through the Preschool Health Program, Malak and other young children were treated with mebendazole to remove intestinal worms, and their mothers received training and a hygiene kit to reduce the children’s risk of future parasite infection.
“This is the first time that I will attend a health education session. It’s very important to know how to protect my children from intestinal worms,” Om Fayez told the staff of ANERA, the organization that has partnered with ZF to administer the program.
Intestinal parasite infections can cause delays in growth, malnutrition, iron-deficient anemia, distended stomachs, intestinal obstructions and learning difficulties in children. When children in poor communities live with chronic worm infections, the parasites can interfere with school performance, and the productivity and ability to escape poverty in adulthood.
Anti-parasite health programs and hygiene education are just one example of ZF initiatives that address the root causes of poverty. Your support for the Preschool Health Plan can change the outlook for Gazan children and their families for generations to come.