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Kenya was on a mission to improve their economy In 2009 Karen Levy andher colleague Margaret Ndanyi worked for six months on how to developand execute a national Kenyan program to target school children most atrisk for parasitic worm infection They went about this smartly Firstthey assessed the present state of the country and what the countryvalued They had found out Kenyas lawmakers had recently begun to takean interest in education more specifically how educating children cangreatly impact the economic future of ones country HistoricallyKenya was a major recipient of foreign aid In order to change thefuture of the country there was a need to invest in the childrenseducation In 2007 79 of children attended school However there wascompelling evidence indicating that recurring illness amongstschoolchildren prevented even higher attendance Kenya is a place ofhigh risk for several infectious diseases Parasitic worm affected kidsin particular They were listless and often too tired to participate or even attendschool Studies have shown that worm effected children also experiencean average IQ loss of 375 points Parasitic worm infections could betreated relatively easily inexpensively and safely with readilyavailable drugs It was also beneficial to note that you didntnecessarily have to be infected with worms to be able to take the cureThis saves a lot of time money and resources on testing children firstto see if they are infected before distributing the medication In theUnited States we know that there is a definite link between health andeducation but in 2002 it was a newer concept in Kenya Also childhoodillness was also seen as a way of life in Kenya a sort of Darwiniansurvival of the fittest The communities where worms are devastatingthe lives of children have lived with this problem for a long time andhave accepted this problem as normal Charles Mwandawiro the directorof the Eastern and Southern African Centre for International ParasiteControl at the Kenya Medical Research Institute explains In January of2009 Prime Minister of the Republic of
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