Posted: Tue, December 16, 2014 | By: Kasese Humanist School
Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) has raised $2,675 in only two days to launch a “Parasitology Laboratory” in western Uganda, at Kasese Humanist Primary School (KHPS). The de-worming institute will slay helminths that lurk inside the 325 KHPS students and the 70,000 inhabitants of Kasese, a Rwenzori mountain town. The laboratory will also instruct students in medicine, hygiene, and human biology. BBI raised its funding via a GoFundMe campaign.
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 - create a plethora of horrific diseases, disfigurations, and debilitations: Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Trichuriasis, Ascariasis, Bloody Diarrhea, Anemia, Malnutrition.
Mental health is also crippled by worms. 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 histolytica (also protozoan) in 7.4%.
Our laboratory will also combat Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Anthrax.
BBI’s laboratory will have a microscope, medical book, fecal-testing and malaria ID equipment, plus multiple medicines: Albendazole, Ivermectin, Praziquantel, Metronidazole, Coartem. We will employ an Ugandan medical technician to analyze patients, dispense curatives, and train students and community in prevention techniques. BBI will manage the laboratory, ordering supplies, issuing paychecks, providing up-to-date scientific info and epidemic alerts. The lab will provide free parasite care to the school children, and affordable care to the Kasese community.
The laboratory cost is amazingly inexpensive, especially considering all the lives it will benefit. (budget below)
Fecal-testing equipment is easy to procure in the USA due to usage by veterinarians and pet owners who monitor creatures from cats to cattle, from koi fish to exotic reptiles. We got advice from tech pirate / biohacker Rich Lee and the Grinders at the biohack.me forums; They suggested the almost-free the almost-free smartphone-microscope lens created by 3D printers. Another possibility is the $1 origami microscope created by Stanford’s Manu Prakash.
Uganda is currently in great need of health assistance because $280 million in foreign aid was cut back in 2013, due to Uganda governmental corruption and graft. Several nations - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, and United States - also reduced their foreign aid to Uganda in 2014, due to displeasure with the anti-gay bills.
KHPS is affiliated with the Uganda Humanist Association, an organization that is inclusive and non-discriminating toward LGBTs. Uganda Humanists consistently fight the government’s anti-gay legislation, and have a liberal atmosphere on their upper grade campuses. Uganda’s humanists also battle against the rural belief in witchcraft.
BBI thanks everyone who donated to our GoFundMe campaign.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We are now looking for “medical missionaries” who want to volunteer at the laboratory - physicians, nurses, pharmacists, parasitologists - who enjoy Fighting DISEASE!
BUDGET FOR PARASITOLOGY LABORATORY
- Albendazole, single dose of 400 mg
- Ivermectin, two doses 200 µ/Kg orally once a day for 2 days
- Praziquantel, 40 mg/kg, which may be divided in two doses
- Coartem Dispersible - tablets for children
- Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS
- Doxycycline for Anthrax and other bacterial infection
Albendazole is used to combat roundworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, flukes, Lymphatic Filariasis, and Onchocerciasis. Cost is .77 each
Ivermectin kills many hookworms, pinworms, whipworms, most mites, ticks and some lice, and larval heartworms. It treats Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, strongyloidiasis, ascariasis, trichuriasis, enterobiasis, and some skin diseases like scabies. Cost varies - around $2 each.
Praziquantel kills tapeworms, Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), liver flukes, lung flukes, and intestinal flukes. cost is about $2.50 per pill.
Metronidazole kills giardia and other bacteria and protozoa. cost is .75 each
Coartem is for malaria. Cost is approximately $4.25 each
Microscope - $160
Parasite Identification Chart - $10
Microscope Coverslips - $30
Fecal Testers - $50
Miscellaneous - $135 Gloves, Cleaning Solutions, Scapels, Bandages, Antiseptics, Gauze, Syringes, e
Notes: The laboratory does more than fecal testing. River Blindness is determined by surgically cutting out a “nodule” and examining it under a microscope: . Schistosomiasis can be done by fecal testing, but it is more accurate if the urine is strip-tested. Malaria is diagnosed via a blood test.
MEDICAL TECHNICIAN’S SALARY
10 hours per week for work — at $1.00 US per hour
Hours are to be spent:
diagnosing diseases in the children
administering the medicine
teaching precautions to students
instructing students in laboratory techniques
$520 per year
Sign - $70 (made by local carpenters)
Wiring Money- $100 (Western Union charges $10-$20 per wiring)
GoFundMe Fees - $250
Fiscal Sponsor Fee Peace Development Fund - $150
Brighter Brains managerial tasks & annual inspection - $300
note: KHPS will donate space for the clinic, plus furniture, cleaning supplies, and security.
Total = $870
TOTAL BUDGET cost: $2,675