2011-2012 Albendazol Distribution Reports

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The International Action team is currently working on releasing a report on its 2011-2012 Albendalzol distribution efforts. Here’s a quick glance of our numbers!

Thanks to our 2011 partnership, a total of 66 schools received aid in all regions of Haiti. Totaling 200,000 pills for 2011.

2012’s cooperation with 13 different local committees and organizations led to the distribution of 413,400 pills.

Bringing our total sum for 2011-2012 at just over half a million! Our deworming campaign’s final number stands at 613,400 pills which were successfully administered and distributed to both children and adults throughout Haiti.

International Action would like to thank all of its partner organizations and community organizers for making our Albendazol distribution a success!

Stay tuned for our full report on our site: http://www.haitiwater.org

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Spread the Word: October 15th is Global Handwashing Day!

It is important for every person to know that washing your hands with soap can be lifesaving. Washing your hands can prevent people from getting sick and from spreading diseases, yet not nearly enough people actually wash their hands. For this reason The Global Handwashing Day seeks to promote the act of washing your hands and the proper ways to do it.

The Global Handwashing Day is a campaign initiated in 2008 by the Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW). The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness around the world about the importance of washing your hands with soap. Every year there are over 200 million people in over 100 countries that participate in the Global Handwashing Day.

So why is washing your hands with soap so important? Thoroughly washing your hands can prevent the spread of waterborne diseases and acute respiratory infections.  Diarrhea and other diseases like cholera and typhoid are transmitted when a person drinks or eats something that has been contaminated. Bacterial infections can be anywhere, which means that hand washing before and after handling food, after using the toilet, and after handling garbage is vital and will prevent many infections.

Washing your hands can decrease the risk of waterborne diseases by 20% and the risk of respiratory infection by 25%. While there needs to be a conscious effort by everyone to wash their hands well, it is especially important for those in countries that lack effective water treatment and sewage infrastructure. Poor sanitation and a lack of clean, safe water increases the probability of infection spreading, making it paramount that all adults and children wash their hands with soap. The goal of the Global Handwashing Day is to remind people about the importance of hand washing and to promote hand washing in places where it is not a common practice. Please take some time on October 15th to spread the word about hand washing, support a group that actively works to promote hygiene, or simply remember to wash your own hands with soap.

 Don’t forget to always wash your hands…:

  • Before, during, and after you prepare, touch, or eat food.
  • After you use the toilet.
  • After you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.
  • After you touch or clean up after an animal.
  • After you handle garbage.

Proper way to wash your hands:

  1. Make sure you run your hands through water until they are wet.
  2. Rub soap all over your hands, in between your fingers, under your nails, and the back of your hands.
  3. Continue rubbing your hands with soap for approximately 30 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands with water and dry them with a clean towel.

Non-profit Organizations Join Forces to Fight Malnutrition in Developing Countries

Children are our future. They will grow to be our future leaders and innovators. For these reasons, our children need to be healthy so they can have a chance at a bright future.

Unfortunately, thousands of children worldwide lack the necessary nutrients to grow and lead healthy lives. While children’s health is a worldwide concern, children in developing countries struggle significantly more than children in wealthier countries. According to the World Health Organization, 51 out of 1,000 children die before the age of five worldwide. But in Haiti (one of the poorest countries) 165 out of 1,000 children die before the age of five.  Preventable conditions such as malnutrition, respiratory infection, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and diarrhea are responsible for more than half of under-five deaths. Many infants do not even stand a chance as they are born with vitamin deficiencies and birth defects because their mothers are malnourished during pregnancy.

Fortunately, there are people working non-stop to improve children’s health in Haiti.

Some of these people are part of Samaritan’s Purse and ACDI/VOCA, two international groups that work to improve the health and nutrition of children in Haiti. Samaritan’s Purse operates a free clinic in Cite Soleil and are opening a free antenatal clinic in Trouchouchou, Petit Goave. They see over 200 children each week at the Cite Soleil Clinic treating burns, illnesses, wounds, and malnutrition. Samaritan’s Purse also prevents the spread of intestinal worms by making albendazole available to all children in need. International Action’s role at these clinics is small but important. They provide much of the albendazole needed to help the children that come to these clinics.

Children need more than treatment of illnesses and ailments to lead healthy lives. They need to have enough food and the right nutrients to develop healthily.

ACDI/VOCA works with the Bureau de Nutrition et Development (BND) to coordinate a very effective mother and child focused nutrition program. The nutrition program is part of a larger food security program funded by USAID.

The ACDI/VOCA food security program has three focuses: (1) the promotion of sustainable livelihoods, (2) the improvement of the health and nutrition of women and children, and (3) the development of a disaster early warning system for food security.

To improve the health of children and mothers, ACDI/VOCA, through community health rally posts, is providing health and nutrition education, growth monitoring and promotion, training and supportive supervision to government health care providers and targeted food rations to pregnant and lactating women and children. Along with the aforementioned services, supplements are being provided to ensure children and mothers have the nutrients they need to be strong and healthy.  International Action has aided ACDI/VOCA in this effort by providing their Southeast health rally posts with vitamin A. Vitamin A helps strengthen immune systems and prevents blindness.

The program has helped thousands of children and women. A total of 12,589 children and 4,371 pregnant and lactating women now lead healthier lives because of the nutrition program.

Thanks to groups like Samaritan’s Purse, ACDI/VOCA, and International Action, children in Haiti can grow up healthier and more prepared for their future.

Strength in Numbers: Cooperation and Water Saved the Life of Paulin Marius

“Water is essential to our survival. Imagine being without it or having to walk hours to have access to the most vital commodity that we need to go about our daily activities.”

                                                -Madame Nicole Defay, Director of Williamson Village in Haiti

The story of Paulin Marius: how cooperation gave him clean water, which saved his father’s life

Paulin is 14 years old. He lives with his 7 brothers and sisters and his father, who is slowly going blind. His mother passed away during childbirth, and his physical development was stunted following a childhood fever.

This October, Paulin’s father fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. Paulin walked his dad up a mountain in order to get him to the hospital for cholera treatment.

Paulin with a staff member from Hope for Haiti

One of our partners, Hope for Haiti, gave Paulin a bucket of chlorine to protect his family from future cholera outbreaks.

Clean water has made a healthy life possible for Paulin, his father, his siblings, and many children like Paulin. 

The Bigger Picture:

50% of Haitians do not have access to the most vital of resources: clean water. Waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and symptoms such as chronic diarrhea are responsible for 16% of deaths for children under the age of 5. Since October 2010, over 418,000 Haitians have been diagnosed with cholera. With so many people lacking access to clean, safe water and the number of people afflicted by cholera growing steadily each month, water and sanitation services must be improved for more people at a faster rate. Cooperation between local governments, community-based organizations, and non-governmental organizations is the only way to protect more people, faster.

The Solution:

We at International Action recognized this, and in July of this year created a Cholera Prevention Consortium. The goal of the consortium is to bring safe water to all corners of Haiti. 22 NGOs and over 20 communities have asked to join our efforts. In September alone, we donated 122  buckets (50 pounds each) of chlorine to 22 groups that work throughout Haiti.

A Glimpse of Our Partners

One of the first groups we donated to was Mercy & Sharing. Mercy & Sharing operates 3 residential care facilities for a total of 116 children in Williamson, located 37 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince. Williamson is very impoverished: the only businesses bringing in any revenue are the hotels on the beach. 51 percent of the orphans at Mercy & Sharing are disabled. They are in even greater need of clean, safe water than most because many have weakened immune systems.  Nearby is a Mercy & Sharing-run school that serves 300 students.

On July 18, 2011, Mercy & Sharing picked up 20 buckets of chlorine from International Action. They needed the chlorine because many of the children they work with were getting sick from contaminated water. Since Mercy and Sharing picked up the chlorine from us in July, they have helped provide over 18,000 people a month with clean, safe water.

“Thanks to the donation of International Action who gratefully donated the chlorine, we are now able to deliver clean water to the Williamson population.

Every day people from the community come as early as 5am to fill their bucket and jugs. Some come with their donkey making sure they carry the most water they can get while satisfying their need until the next morning.

We are lucky to have found such good-hearted people who wholesomely care about the well-being of their fellow brother and sisters.”

                                   -Madame Nicole Defay, Director of Williamson Village in Haiti

Moving Forward 

There are many towns like Williamson; many more groups like Mercy and Sharing wanting help out; and thousands of people who have stories like Paulin.

We would not have been able to help Paulin and his father without the cooperation of our consortium partners. Cooperation and clean water save lives, which is why we will continue to expand the consortium. Please forward this email to any friends and family that would like the opportunity to help out in Haiti.

We have the full support of our staff, our board members, the Haitians we work with, and even President Martelly, who made a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York at the end of September in which he championed International Action for our commitment to provide 2.5 million Haitians with clean water. But most importantly, your support makes all this work possible. Please join us in helping more children like Paulin live a healthy and happy life by donating $30 or $50 a month.

Warmest regards and deepest thanks,

— The International Action Team

Looking for Partners to Distribute De-Worming Pills

Does your organization work with children in Haiti? If so, help us fight malnutrition and dysentery, and boost school attendance, by distributing albendazole de-worming pills.

Intestinal worms are rampant in Haiti, thanks to the lack of clean water and sanitation resources. Children suffer the most from these parasites, which can steal up to 20% of a child’s daily nutritional intake, leaving them at great risk of malnutrition and anemia. With these come further problems: stunted growth; impaired physical and mental development; time away from school. These worms are setting back an entire generation of Haitians.

We have a supply of albendazole de-worming pills ready for distribution from our warehouse in Port-au-Prince. If your group works with a school or clinic in Haiti, why not partner with us to combat this scourge? Send us an email at info@haitiwater.org, or contact Zach Brehmer (zbrehmer@haitiwater.org) or Wesley Laine (wesley@haitiwater.org). Let us know who you are, where you work, and how many children you can reach.

Together, we can help create a better future for Haiti’s children.

— The International Action Team