Kids For World Health (KFWH), a local organization dedicated to helping eliminate the world’s most neglected diseases, is holding a Hike-A-Thon on Sunday, April 26 from 1-4 pm at Saxon Woods Park. This “trek for treatment” will raise funds to construct a pediatric clinic in Bodo, Chad.
KFWH was founded in 2001 by students in Kay Kobbe’s third grade at Chatsworth School after they learned that thousands of people die each year from sleeping sickness because of lack of access to treatment. (See: Local Kids Impact World Health) KFWH’s goal is to create awareness of sleeping sickness and other neglected diseases, such as Buruli ulcer, Kala Azar, and Chagas disease (which has now spread through blood donations and organ transplants to the US and Brazil) and to create connections with villages affected by these illnesses. Eight years since its inception, KFWH has 12 chapters and 2000 members throughout the world. It has funded four pediatric clinics in Yei, Sudan; Duk County, Sudan; Kaliua, Tanzanaia; and Otuboi Sub County, Uganda. These clinics provide services to more than 800,000 villagers, some walking as much as 75 miles for treatment.
While the Hike-A-Thon is considerably shorter than 75 miles – the entire route should take an hour to complete – it will give participants an opportunity to learn more about the target diseases through signposts and educational exhibits along the trail. For families with young children or those who want to trek a shorter distance, the trail is designed so hikers can turn around at any point.
”I am hopeful that the Hike-A- Thon will give students and the community an understanding of the hardships patients face in rural areas of our clinic sites, as well as to better equate the distances that patients must walk to get to the nearest clinic for treatments,” said Ms. Kobbe. “It is the hope of our student members that this event will raise awareness about neglected diseases and the issues surrounding them and help raise the $16,000 needed for the pediatric wing in Chad, Africa. We appreciate the support the community has always shown for KFWH, as together we can all make a real difference to villages across our globe.”
For pledge sheets, registration and more information, please go to www.kfwhtrek.org