Posted: Thu, February 05, 2015 | By: Past Projects
Pellissier Science Laboratory #2 was launched on February 2, 2015, in Kyarumba, Uganda, a small rural village in the foothills of the Rwenzori “Mountains of the Moon.” The center will serve the town’s residents, with special attention given to the 142 students of the nearby Vision Care Nursery and Primary School.
Bob Pellissier - CEO of RKI Instruments in Union City, California - donated $1,500 to Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) to establish the clinic. Earlier, he donated the same amount to establish a Pellissier Science Laboratory #1 at Kasese Humanist Primary School, a town of 70,000 that is one hour’s drive from Kyarumba.
Pellissier Science Laboratory #2 will combat the multiple maladies that scourge the Kyarumb’’s residents: malaria, bilharzia, typhoid, cholera, pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and helmenthiasis (sicknesses caused by parasitic worms.) Uganda has the highest infant mortality rate in East Africa, with 131 children out of 1,000 dying before the age of five. The laboratory will also instruct students in medicine, hygiene, and human biology.
Worldwide, three billion people are afflicted by parasitic worms that kill approximately 15 million people per year, primarily in Africa. The “silent assassins” - tapeworms, flatworms, hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, pinworms - cause horrific diseases, disfigurations, and debilitations: Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Trichuriasis, Ascariasis, Bloody Diarrhea, Anemia, Malnutrition.
Mental health is also crippled; 3.75 IQ points are lost per parasite infection and a MIT study “found that deworming was by far the most cost-effective way to increase primary school participation.” Severe malaria can also damage a child’s neurological and cognitive development.
Helminthic diseases are transmitted via feces-contaminated soil, animals, toilet seats, water, and food. A Uganda study revealed 42.6% of children were infected; 12.8% with hookworms, 9.6% with Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), 4.3% with Ascaris. Giardia (protozoa) was found in 8.5%; Entamoeba histolytic (also protozoan) in 7.4%.
Pellissier Science Laboratory #2 is equipped with a microscope, medical book, fecal-testing and malaria ID equipment, plus multiple medicines: Albendazole, Ivermectin, Praziquantel, Metronidazole, Coartem. A Ugandan medical technician - Edmond Thembo - has been hired to be on site - to analyze patients, dispense curatives, and train students and community in prevention techniques.
Bob Pellissier also wants to help children with science and engineering aptitude - he might establish a “Pellissier Science Scholarship for Orphans” fund at Kasese Humanist Primary School. Bob’s brother Hank - the BBI director - will annually deliver supplies and inspect the laboratory.
Family-run charities are popular, but the grassroots energy of the Pellissier venture is unusual. Perhaps this humanitarian enterprise encourages other families to unite in efforts to alleviate human suffering.
The cost to establish a medical clinic? Kyarumba’s laboratory will cost a mere $1,387.50. And that’s Tax Deductible!
Are you a philanthropic family, school group, church, or business? Want to set up your own health clinic for a struggling community? email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.