Hope and Health in Ethiopia: Tackling Deadly Neglected Tropical Diseases
My name is Beulah Phillpot and in November of 2012 my husband Norm, my sister Jeannette Mergens, our three new friends Don, Kitty and Dwayne and I travelled with Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) to visit Ethiopia and see current CPAR programs in the field. I say “current” because I was happy to learn that even though CPAR has been working in Ethiopia for 29 years, as part of their programmatic model programs are developed with exit strategies in mind. So that when CPAR leaves, the community has ownership of the projects and the long-term impact and learning continues.
Our study group had a chance to experience beautiful Ethiopia as we travelled to Addis Ababa, Jarso, Dibate, Bahir Dar, Lalibela, and Dessie. We visited a traditional Gumuz community, island monasteries and the Blue Nile Falls; took a boat trip on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile; and had picnics overlooking the Blue Nile Gorge and in a bamboo plantation.
The trip left us all changed and wanting to make a difference to the warm and generous people and communities that we had the fortune of being able to see first-hand. Because in the midst of all this beauty and a culture rich with history, extreme poverty exists, especially in some of the remote, rural areas where CPAR works.
Food security is one of the greatest challenges in rural Ethiopia and we were happy to be able to visit CPAR Farmer Field Schools which are making a difference a community at a time. But even when families do have access to food, an underlying health problem results in about 40% of the nutritional content of the food they are able to secure being lost. And while this is a subject that many don’t want to talk about – it is very real and very serious - worms.
People become infected with worms by drinking stagnant and unclean water or simply by walking barefoot, which so many of the children we saw were doing. Once infected, the worms make them sick and can consume so much of the nutritional content of the food they do eat. Children simply aren’t able to thrive.
We want to make a difference and we hope you can join us too.
Once we get initial funding secured, CPAR will be launching a three year program targeting 101,692 people (51,013 males and 50,679 females) in the Dibate and Guba districts that we visited. The primary target for the campaign are children under five, school age children, and lactating and pregnant women who are more susceptible to Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), which worms are.
Throughout the course of the program the community will be regularly provided with a pill to get rid of the worms in their body, but then also the community will get clean water and be educated on the contraction of NTDs so that the worms don’t come back.
The total cost for this three year program (treatment, provision of wells and latrines, hygiene and health education, equipment and supplies to local clinics) is $400,000 USD. The budget for the first year of the program will be $200,000 USD, then $100,000 USD for years two and three. Which means it will only $1.30 per person per year to eradicate the NTDs!
If we can get 400 Canadians to give $500 each, we will have reached the first year campaign goal. And that $500 will have changed the lives and futures of 385 people.
Please join us to make this incredible impact in the life of one community today. Donate $10, $50, $100, $500 or whatever you can afford today. And consider making a multi-year pledge of commitment for each of the 3 years that the program will be operating to eradicate NTDs in the region. Please pass this along to your friends – we can create a network of support around the children and families of the Dibate and Guba region. Together we can make a difference.
All donations of $10 or more receive an income tax receipt.
Beulah & Norman Phillpot
In Memory of Glays Marion O'Reilly
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