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Prayers Against Worms

We are more than halfway through the 32 days of prayer, can you believe it?

Today’s topic is not an easy one – in fact, few of these topics should be easy prayer requests. Far too often, the disease is preventable, the life-altering affects totally avoidable.

But today we are going to pray against intestinal worms, and they are just as terrible as they sound.
The World Health Organization estimates that over 1 billion people suffer from intestinal worms.

Intestinal worm eggs are usually ingested via food and water from contaminated soil. The eggs develop into adult worms that sap a child’s nutrients. Compounding the problem, the worm eggs re-contaminate the soil if proper toilets are not available.

Intestinal worms give children the bloated stomachs we often associate with impoverished areas. In addition to chronic stomach aches, a child may be sluggish and inattentive, putting their education at risk. And like malaria, untreated parasitic worms can lead to incontinence, anemia, and weakened immune systems.

How we can pray against this all-too common ailment:

  • Children must have access to improved sanitation and water sources. Mission of Mercy makes this available at the project level, but it is more difficult to ensure the children receive what they need at home. Please pray for the community, government, and other outside organizations to band together to address these basic needs.
  • Hygiene lessons that reinforce thorough hand washing and washing food before you eat it is important.
  • One easy way to prevent infection is for children to wear shoes. One Child Matters often provides shoes as part of a child’s Christmas gift from the project for this very reason. Encouraging children to wear shoes when they may be uncomfortable or they want to keep them nice for school is another issue.
  • In areas where intestinal worms are prevalent such as the Philippines, deworming takes place at least once a year if not more often. Studies show that treatments given at a child’s school or project are most effective. As more treatments become available, children are encouraged to bring siblings or friends to receive the medicine as well.
  • Thankfully, the patents have expired on most of the medication used to treat intestinal worms, making treatment much more reasonable. Rather than take the expensive step of getting diagnosed, all children are treated as a preventative step. This is especially effective with school-aged children who are often in close proximity, leading to easy re-infection.
  • Most deworming initiatives encourage community involvement for best results. Older children, caregivers, and parents need the best information to encourage healthy behaviors at home. Please pray the lessons about intestinal worms are understood and that treatments and preventative steps are followed.

Today’s prayer:
Lord, once again we face a topic that makes our hearts hurt for these children. We give thanks that the treatment for worms is safe, simple, and much cheaper. Please continue to make these medicines available. And please, Lord, move in our hearts and the hearts of others to address the issue of sanitation to remove this threat from their lives forever.

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