Johnson & Johnson’s Commitment to Expand Efforts to Fight Intestinal Worms in Children Could Protect up to 100 million Young People
September 9, 2010 by Kim Koporc
9/9/10 - Johnson & Johnson to quadruple mebendazole donations over five years.
Johnson & Johnson’s announcement that it will quadruple mebendazole donations over five years to combat intestinal worms in children is remarkable. The infusion of 200 million new doses to treat children twice a year has the power to improve the health of more than 100 million children suffering from soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH)—and it has the potential to transform the lives of an entire generation.
STH is endemic to some of the poorest tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world—where sanitation and clean water are scarce. Up to 800 million children are affected by this disease, increasing their vulnerability to malnutrition and other serious infections. STH is preventable and treatable through a comprehensive approach of deworming medication and access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education.
“This donation paves the way for CWW to reach more children, who desperately need life-saving drugs and their basic needs met,” said Mark Rosenberg, director of The Task Force for Global Health. “Johnson & Johnson is providing a model for how business, governments, and in-country health providers can unite to address our most serious health issues and improve quality of life for millions of children globally.”
To date, Children Without Worms (CWW), a partnership between the The Task Force for Global Health and Johnson & Johnson has worked to treat more than 20 million children per year with mebendazole, and to address the root causes of STH in eight countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Lao PDR, Nicaragua, Uganda and Zambia. In 2001, the World Health Assembly set as a goal to treat at least 75 percent of all school age children at risk of STH by 2010. This partnership and the Company’s contributions of mebendazole are credited as primary drivers leading Cambodia, Cape Verde, Loa PDR, Nicaragua, and Uganda to reach the WHA target years ahead of the target date.
CONTACT: Kim Koporc, Director of Children Without Worms