The Notre Dame Haiti Program and Cargill have renewed their partnership to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Haiti. LF, also known as elephantiasis, is a mosquito-borne disease that affects over 2 million Haitians and is the second leading cause of long-term disfigurement and disability worldwide. LF is truly a national disease in Haiti and 87 percent of the country is a potential risk zone. In much of coastal Haiti, as much as half of the population is infected with the parasite.
After donating salt to the program two years ago, Cargill is now offering its technical and operations expertise in salt production. Cargill has committed $150,000 over the next three years to the Notre Dame Haiti Program to help establish a sustainable salt-fortification venture in Haiti. The salt is fortified with potassium iodate (iodine) and diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and is designed to stop LF, while also preventing Iodine Deficiency Disorder.
Founded in 1993, the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program seeks to eliminate LF in Haiti by 2020. LF can be eliminated through a Mass Drug Administration and the distribution of co-fortified salt.
The Haiti Program is partnering with the Haitian Ministry of Health, corporations and non-governmental organizations to forever eliminate the disease in Haiti, thus alleviating suffering, helping to grow the Haitian economy, and creating an exportable model for LF elimination throughout the developing world. For more information, visit www.haiti.nd.edu.
Salt fortified with DEC avoids the barriers associated with annual table-based mass treatment. For instance, DEC-fortified salt does not require a dedicated infrastructure, nor is it associated with the adverse side effects (flu-like symptoms) caused by rapid death of the parasite during tablet-based mass treatment.
Iodine Deficiency Disorder is prevalent in Haiti and can stunt both physical and mental develo
|Contact: Gena Robinson|
University of Notre Dame