Prof. Zvi Bentwich has received a Grand Challenges in Global Health grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his project in Ethiopia to wipe out parasitic worm infections.
Behavioral Change and WASH are Essential for Control of NTD will support mass drug eradication efforts against parasitic worm infections in Ethiopia by implementing in parallel a health education campaign run by local students and the provision of clean water and sanitation facilities. They will test their approach on a region in Ethiopia containing 30 schools, which is connected to a wider population of 200,000. Families will be treated with anti-parasitic drugs, and they will mentor local students to provide health education explaining the causes and symptoms of the diseases, and how to avoid contracting them. They will also provide water and latrines to schools. The effect of their approach on infection rates will be evaluated over an 18-month period, according to the Foundation’s website.
Bentwich is a member of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics and head of the Center for Emerging Diseases, Tropical Diseases and AIDS (CEMTA).