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Notre Dame Haiti Program

The three pillars supported by the Notre Dame Haiti Program's fight against Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) are Mass Drug Administration (MDA), the production and distribution of co-fortified salt, and healing those affected with the symptoms of LF. MDA and co-fortified salt are the crucial tools needed to eliminate LF from Haiti forever and prevent new cases from occurring. Treatment of those already disabled by LF alleviates suffering and allows the afflicted to once again become active and contributing members of Haitian society.

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$1 m Share of Challenge Fund

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Description

The LIVE Notre Dame Day broadcast will kick-off at 18:42 pm ET (6:42 pm ET) on April 23rd at NOTREDAMEDAY.ND.EDU. The 29-hour broadcast will showcase Notre Dame stories from around the world, as well as live interviews, special musical performances, remotes, in-studio performances and surprise celebrity guests. Please spread the word and help us earn votes! Follow the celebration on social media with #NDday.

Donations are applied to...

During this exciting time, we have the unique opportunity to earn a portion of a $1 Million! Make a $10 gift on Notre Dame Day (April 23 – 24), and receive 5 votes to cast. The total number of votes we receive decides our percentage of the $1 Million. Please vote for us and help us support programs that improve lives in Haiti.

Why are donations necessary?

More than 1.2 billion people around the world are threatened by lymphatic filariasis (LF), one of thirteen neglected tropical diseases. This debilitating disease affects 120 million people in 83 countries, including Brazil, India, and much of Central Africa. Caused by thread-like parasitic worms that attack the lymphatic system, LF is usually contracted during childhood, often before age five, but the disease manifests itself in adulthood. More than 40 million people—the poorest of the poor—are seriously incapacitated by the swelling of the limbs, breasts, and genitals caused by LF. Next to mental illness, LF is the leading cause of disability in the world. Annual economic losses are estimated at $4 billion. LF is one of only six infectious diseases considered eliminable by the World Health Assembly, which has set a timetable for worldwide elimination by 2020. LF is not generally a fatal disease, and therefore tends to receive less attention than killers such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. However, the overt manifestations of LF—such as elephantiasis and male hydrocele—maim, disfigure, and socially isolate people for a lifetime. Filarial infection also renders tissues especially susceptible to injuries and a host of normally innocuous bacteria and fungi. Even young infected children likely suffer some kidney and lung impairment due to thousands of circulating filarial worms in the blood, though they often do not yet display the overt manifestations of the disease. In people with lymphedema or elephantiasis, acute inflammatory attacks of the lymph nodes and vessels can be so severe they generate second-degree burns and require emergency treatment. In some cases, complications from infections compounded by a person’s LF-compromised lymphatic system can be fatal. LF is truly a national disease in Haiti, present in 118 of 140 communes, making 88% of the country a potential risk zone. In much of coastal Haiti, half the people have the parasite and fully a quarter of the males have genital damage due to the disease. Between 2 and 5 percent of the population suffers from lymphedema and elephantiasis. There is a good deal of awareness about elephantiasis of the leg, which occurs more frequently in girls and women, but many are unaware of the suffering boys and men incur from scrotal damage—which is often hidden by victims.