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Vanquish the Parasites!  De-Worm Uganda Children with DIY Fecal-Testing

Posted: Fri, December 12, 2014 | By: Kasese Humanist Primary School



Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Hippo, Cape Buffalo, and Crocodile are viewed as nasty African killer-beasts, but the horror they inflict on us is minuscule compared to other tiny revolting enemies…

Three billion people worldwide are afflicted by parasitic worms (helminths) that kill approximately 15 million people per year. The majority of victims are African. The “silent assassins” - tapeworms, flatworms, hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, pinworms - create a plethora of horrific diseases, disfigurations, and debilitations: Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Bilharzia, Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Trichuriasis, Ascariasis, Bloody Diarrhea, Anemia, Malnutrition.

Worms also injure cognition. Research indicates 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 also can cause permanent damage to children’s neurological and cognitive development.

Helminthic diseases are transmitted via feces-contaminated soil, animals (myriad critters from flies & snails to pet dogs), toilet seats, and food. In Moyo County, Uganda, a 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%.

Slideshow HERE / io9.com article HERE / Quick Course HERE

Brighter Brains Institute (BBI) intends to fight parasites by establishing “Parasitology Laboratories” in Uganda and Kenya. Our clinics will have microscopes, medical books, fecal-testing and malaria ID equipment, plus medicine to dispense. Each lab will an onsite an doctor who will train the community in prevention techniques. BBI will manage the laboratories, issuing paychecks, ordering supplies, providing scientific info. Every laboratory will be attached to an orphanage or school - we will provide free parasite care to the children, and affordable care to the surrounding community.

BBI is currently looking at three locations for laboratories; all are in southern and western regions of Uganda. Our longterm goal is to establish dozens of laboratories in rural areas across Eastern and Central Africa. The laboratories are surprisingly cheap to set up, especially considering how many lives they will benefit. Cost ranges from $2,000-$3,350 depending on number of children in the affiliated school or orphanage. A complete budget can be viewed BELOW. Budget items include de-worming equipment, malarial diagnostics, six medicines, doctor salary, director salary, and office supplies.

Bilharzia
Bilharzia

Fecal-testing equipment is easy to procure in the USA due to common usage by veterinarians and pet owners who monitor the health of companions ranging from koi to cattle. BBI might obtain fecal-testing kits from a “bearded dragon” supply site. We’re seeking budget advice from biohacker “Tech Pirate” Rich Lee; he suggests an almost-free microscope - the smartphone 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 several nations - Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, and United States - reduced their foreign aid to Uganda in 2014, due to displeasure with the anti-gay bills. An additional $280 million in foreign aid was cut back in 2013, due to Uganda governmental corruption and graft.

BBI encourages anyone who wants to assist us in setting up Parasitology Laboratories to contact us at brighterbrainsinstitute@gmail.com. We are looking for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and parasitologists who want to “Adopt-A-Clinic” - plus publicists and philanthropists, of course.

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BUDGET FOR PARASITOLOGY LABORATORIES

Brighter Brains Institute’s “Parasitology Laboratories” will improve the health of Ugandan children by diagnosing and curing the multiple diseases caused by parasites. Additionally, the clinic will teach students laboratory skills, and earn income by servicing the local community.

Medicine needed:

  • 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
  • Metronidazole
  • Coartem Dispersible - tablets for children

Albendazole is used to combat roundworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, flukes, Lymphatic Filariasis, and Onchocerciasis. Cost is .77 each http://www.qualityprescriptiondrugs.com/Pricedetail.aspx?DrugName=Albendazole&affiliate=1157

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

Notes:

Uganda is making great progress in eradicating Onchocerciasis (River Blindness). Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) infection ranges widely in Uganda. WHO is devoting millions of dollars to eradicating Elephantiasis. It regards this as a “Winnable Battle.” GlaxoSmithKline has donated 1 billion tablets of Albendazole since 2000. Merck & Co., Inc. has donated 750 million Ivermectin tablets. Novartis has donated over 400 million Coartem treatments to the public. 86% of malaria fatalities are children aged 5 and under; 90% are in the Sub-Saharan.

MEDICINE BUDGET (Cost dependent on # of children)

$450 — 150 children
$600 — 200 children
$750 — 250 children
$900 — 300 children

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EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Microscope - $125
Parasite Identification Book - $10
Microscope Coverslips - $16
“Fecasol” - $25
Fecal Testers - $45
Fecal Float Kit - $64
Malaria Stain Kit - $50
Gloves, Cleaning Solutions, Scapels, Bandages, Antiseptics, Gauze, Miscellaneous - $80

TOTAL:

$450 for 150 children
$550 for 150-300 children
$650 for more than 350 children

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.

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Doctor / Clinician’s Salary

10-15 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 the students on health precautions against parasites
instructing science students in laboratory techniques

$500 per year for less than 200 children (10 hours per week)
$750 per year for more than 200 children (15 hours per week)

additional hours can be scheduled to service the community, this will provide additional income for the doctor/clinician

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River Blindness
River Blindness

Management

BBI’s involvement is necessary to:

Wire salary to doctor/clinician
Monitor hiring and training of doctor/clinician
Process diagnostic reports and relay them to donor(s)
Reorder supplies and medicine
Research regional health conditions and adjust medicine availability accordingly
Annual visit/inspection

Total = $500 (this figure is reduced if a donor wants to assume managing responsibilities)

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Miscellaneous

Sign - $60 (made by local carpenters)
Security - $70 (locks and safe, to keep medicine and supplies secure)
Wiring Money- $120 (Western Union charges $10-$20 per wiring)
GoFundMe Fees (optional) - $200-$300

note: School will donate space for the clinic, plus furniture and cleaning supplies.

Total = $250 - $550

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TOTAL BUDGET cost per laboratory varies from: $1,655 - $3,350



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