Treating parasites among refugees immigrating to USA is beneficial
Southeast Asian and African refugees who are treated with “albendazole” (a medicine which prevents worms from absorbing sugar, making them die) prior to arriving were 77% less likely to carry the parasites than people not administered the drug. The study, which was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, was released today.
The treatment programme carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started in 1999. These recent findings show that it possible to aid vulnerable communities control global health threats at a cost of around $1 per person, says Martin Cetron, who is director at the CDC’s Global Migration and Quarantine unit.
Cetron says it is very easy for the general public to panic about refugee arrivals and the health effects on their community. However, with a very cheap intervention, there can be a big difference made in people’s lives, preventing them from becoming financial burdens on their new communities. Intestinal worms, if left untreated, can cause serious long-term medical issues for those infected, says Cetron.
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