Since 2013, Vive Peru has been working to prevent parasitic infection in communities in and around the city of Trujillo. The project focuses on community education to change habits which cause recurring parasite infection. Lab exams are realized for members of the community to identify which parasites are most common within the community and in order to design the program to target the parasites that are most prevalent there.
The program has three components:
- Lab testing and distribution of medication
- Health education workshops for mothers and their families
- Home visits and recommendations
Health Education Programs focus on these important topics:
- Maintaining a clean water supply
- Hand washing technique and importance
- The importance of wearing shoes
Each stage of the project runs for 6 months. All families receive testing to see whether they are infected with a parasite and receive medicine if they are. All families are also visited by our staff and volunteers to learn about the causes of infection in the community and monitor their progress towards developing habits which will prevent parasitic infection in the future. We prefer a family approach since most times if one person in the family has a parasite, all family members have the same parasite.
Our evaluation of the program’s success is based on:
- Lab testing results
- A pre and post-test demonstrating knowledge of parasite prevention
- Conditions observed within the family’s home which demonstrate whether they are applying the knowledge they have gained in the workshops
We look forward to applying this project in various communities throughout Trujillo, Otuzco and Pacasmayo to prevent parasitic infection in the region and promote healthier families!