Washington, D.C. - Deworm the World, an organization devoted to improving school attendance and student learning in developing countries by reducing the number of children infected with parasitic worms, has moved its headquarters to the corporate offices of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, D.C. AIR committed to support the organization at the 2008 annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Deworm the World will treat at least 10 million children with deworming drugs by September 2009 and millions more in the future.
AIR will host a reception welcoming Deworm the World on April 7, 2009 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at its offices at 1050 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Washington, D.C. Lesley Drake, the executive director of Deworm the World, will answer questions about the educational and health benefits of school-based deworming. Guests will also have the opportunity to view a new twelve-minute video on school-based deworming that serves as Deworm the World’s call to global action.
Parasitic worms infect an estimated 400 million school-age children. The worms stunt children’s physical and cognitive growth, severely limiting their participation in education. Evidence shows that deworming is one of the most cost effective ways to boost school attendance, while also improving children’s ability to learn, grow and thrive.
The move of Deworm the World’s secretariat from London to AIR’s Washington office reflects the increasing collaboration between the two organizations.
“In addition to housing Deworm the World’s secretariat,” said Drake, “AIR is one of the key technical and implementation partners. Together we are working to ensure that countries have accurate information and develop high quality national plans for school-based deworming, and also have state of the art training materials to deworm pupils in school health programs.”
“This is a top priority for AIR,” said Bradford Strickland, who is directing AIR’s efforts in the campaign. “It is at the core of our mission, which is to apply solid scientific evidence to help improve education and quality of life, especially for the disadvantaged.”
Deworm the World works with governments and partners to identify and remove barriers to deworming, and supports national plans in developing countries to implement large scale, sustainable programs that are led by the education sector.
Partners in the effort include Feed the Children, the World Food Program, the World Bank, Partnership for Child Development, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Innovations in Poverty Action, Save the Children, Imperial College in London, Right to Play and others. Additional information about the program is available online at www.dewormtheworld.org.