Refuge International

Improving lives through healthcare, nutrition, clean water, and education.


Adios Lombrices (Goodbye Worms)

  • 70% of children in developing countries have more than one type of intestinal worm.
  • Second only to malaria, worms represent 40% of global morbidity from infectious disease.

Adiós Lombrices!...Goodbye Worms!

Adios LombricesWorms are fine to have in your garden, but they are devastating in the body of a child.

Worms fill the bellies and steal the nutrients of children in impoverished countries worldwide, and Guatemala is certainly no exception. Even if worms don't result in death, they significantly stunt the growth and development of a child and rob them of energy, affecting their ability to learn and thrive.

Launched in March 2007, our Adiós Lombrices program has attempted to implement a nationwide, school-based deworming program with over 4,000,000 children, ages 2-15, receiving a dose of Albendazole. That’s almost the entire population of kids living in rural Guatemala! Albendazole effectively treats hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Follow-up dosing has been more fragmented due to inconsistent government support.

When our program first began, there was no consistent dosing information for Albendazole use in children. Refuge International reached out to researchers at Yale University and worked to determine the proper dosing and frequency for successful treatment in children. The findings of this research were presented at the American Society of Tropical Medicine.

Graph showing increasing numbers of children treated for wormsSince 2007, Refuge International has worked to treat over 4 million children for worms, helping them grow bigger and stronger. The number of children treated for worms has consistently increased each year.

Deworming has been identified by a group of Nobel Laureates and other economists at the Copenhagen Consensus Center as one of the most efficient and cost effective solutions to global challenges facing us today.

Generous donations from Rotary International, Kiwanis International, the Worm Project, Planting Peace and the Franconia Mission of the Mennonite Church and collaboration with the Guatemala National Ministries of Health and Education have all made it possible for 4,000,000 children to be treated!

Studies have shown that school-based deworming programs are the most sustainable. Teachers provide education on good hygiene practices and can regularly administer medication. Even if kids are not enrolled in school, mothers are sure to bring their children to the school on the days medication is given out.

Eliminating Worms Improves A Child’s Health and Outlook For A Better Future

How Can You Help?

  • One dose of Albendazole costs just a few pennies, and children need to be treated 2 times annually.
  • A mere 30 cents will treat 10 children for one year. Just think what a few dollars can do!
  • Refuge International is committed to ensuring all children in Guatemala are protected against life-threatening worms.

Our Partners

Pan American Health Organization   Guatemalan Ministry of Public Health   Guatemalan Ministry of Education   Kiwanis   WOW (Wipe Out Worms)   Church of the Nazarene   Brewda Avila   Worm Project