Parasitic Worm Problem (02:18)
João Conceicão Silva watches over his grandchildren in Bahia. More than 80% of the children in this state are affected by intestinal worms, mainly roundworm, which cause lethargy, weakness, and stunted growth. (Credits)
Fact of Life in Brazil (03:09)
The intestinal worms make those afflicted tired and weak. At Silva's home, there is no sewage system and the water is obtained from a well at the bottom of the garden. Eleildes Conceicã Silva describes the symptoms she looks for in her children; affected students tend to be distracted during class.
Parasitic Worm Process (01:59)
Children come to school for a free meal. Food infected with roundworm eggs hatch in the small intestine. While the school has toilets, most of the homes in Bahia do not.
Testing for Parasites (05:11)
Joyce Capelli from Inmed Brazil arrives to test the children of Marau for intestinal worms. Assessments include height, weight, blood test, and feces sample. Between eight and ninety percent of the children are infested; 50 children die daily due to lack of sanitation and diarrhea.
Modern Medicine (08:04)
Silva believes the anti-worm pills do not work and prefers a tea he manufactures from Mentrusto. Government policies do not meet the needs of the population in Marau. The Inmed team brings valuable medicine and educates the population on intestinal parasites; the local witch doctor is concerned that the full moon is approaching.
Constant Threat for Children (02:24)
Children play soccer barefoot using a plastic bag in the state of Minas Gerais. Hookworm enters the body through the skin, causing malnutrition and stunted growth.
Intervention for Hookworms (05:06)
Dr. David Diemert from the Sabin Vaccine Institute researches a preventative vaccine. Hookworm causes anemia and other childhood development issues; pharmaceutical companies do not develop an antidote because the lack of commercial market. Joao Pinheiro worries about contracting "the big yellow."
Isolated Farm Research (04:20)
Dr. Diemert obtains blood samples in order to understand how the human body responds to infection. Erleide Viana discusses her severe reaction to a clinical trial vaccine for hookworm. Now, a skin test is initiated first to discover if an individual is allergic.
Drug Resistance (02:41)
A hookworm vaccine would stop the need for individuals to be treated multiple times during their life. It would be manufactured at the Institute Butantan in São Paulo. The vaccine is still many years from production.
Test Results (05:40)
Seventeen out of 20 children are infected with worms. Students ingest Mebendazole to weaken the worm's grip; Inmed Brazil visits family members to provide medication for the adults. Clean water and sewage are required to eradicate intestinal worms.
Students Improve (02:51)
Students expel worms out of their bellies and demonstrate improved behavior. Capelli understands that these children will become re-infected. Inmed Brazil plans on returning in six months.
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