Thursday, March 1, 2012


It's Steve again. We learned that parents in Sagitun, a nearby village, were alarmed about head lice among the school children. It was my privilege to work with the response by teachers, parents, and Ministry of Health. My work partner from HECOPAB (Health Education and Community Participation Bureau) and I got a ride to the village with a public health inspector who was collecting water samples in the region. We were packing three cases of shampoo bottles laced with 1% permethrin as well as a ten-minute slide show on lice infestation.

I gave the presentation starting with Infant I (kindergarten) class. It was more pictures than science, and I walked through the rows of desks showing the laptop picture to each student as I spoke. The teacher (who is an angel) repeated the message with each slide, and then she lined them up and led them to the playground for the “activity part”.

The treatment plan was a shampoo, then a ten-minute wait with lather in the scalp, followed by clean-water rinse and fine-tooth combing to remove more eggs attached to the hair. Repeat treatment after 3 days is recommended.

At first, the three of us worked on each child. Several mothers were recruited by texting, and they brought towels, buckets, and more fine-tooth combs. While I moved on to address Infant 2 class, the assembly line kicked into high gear, and in less than four hours, we had taught and shampooed over 100 students.

We left two cases of shampoo for a follow-up treatments.

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