People in so-called first world countries don’t think about it too often, but there are many countries in the world where certain diseases run rampant and cause many death each year. The real tragedy of this is that many of these diseases are perfectly treatable, but often the communities that are trapped in the cycle of these diseases are poor and unable to access the right medications.
The Impact of Parasitic Infections
Take parasitic worm infections as a good example of how a treatable disease can devastate entire communities. The Schistosomiasis worm is one of a number of parasitic worm infections that run rampant throughout many areas of sub-saharan Africa.
The main carrier of the worm is the waterways in these areas, and the parasite can enter the urethra of people bathing in the water or can be consumed via infected water and then get into the intestinal tract. As the parasite grows into the adult worm, it causes serious health problems, including the following:
- Damage to internal organs of the body, resulting chronic infections
- A decrease in immunity, leading to potential infection by other diseases
- An impairment to normal development in children
Given the prevalence of HIV infections in many parts of sub-saharan Africa, comorbidity with the Schistosomiasis parasite can facilitate terminal conditions. In this context, it’s estimated that the worm kills up to 200 000 people per year in these regions, making it a serious health concern.
How to Deal with Parasitic Infections
The problem of worm infections affects approximately one billion people across the world in some of the poorest communities on the planet. Without much-needed education and medical help, these communities will continue to be devastated by such infections.
This is the tragedy, but there is some hope. Through targeted donations from caring people, it’s possible to fund schemes that have been set up to help these communities. The donations will also fund the purchase of medications that are effective at treating parasitic infections such as Schistosomiasis.
The Wider Impact on Communities
This tropical disease is having a big impact on communities. It is affecting many school-aged children and this is leaving a serious generational hole. When school-aged children have this disease, they are not just missing time at school, but it is also having a massive impact on their ability to live a normal and productive life. Consequently, these communities are trapped in a cycle of disease and ongoing poverty because they cannot make the changes needed to generate wealth and opportunity.
Something must be done about this all-too-common and terrible parasitic worm, and the good news is that some organisations are caring enough to help organise medical aid through the power of public donation.