Tropical Disease Institute joins Rotary to raise funds to improve
(ATHENS, Ohio – April 1, 2013) The Tropical Disease Institute (TDI)
at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and
local Rotary International clubs are joining forces to assist an
Ecuadorian village build and sustain a new drinking water system.
community of Bellamaría, located in te province of Loja, southern
Ecuador, and consisting of about 40 families, had a drinking water
system first installed about 15 years ago but the project stalled
and was never finished, said Mario Grijalva, Ph.D., director of TDI.
Grijalva and students from OU-HCOM and the Center for International
Studies have worked with this the community as part of their
research into Chagas Disease, in addition to providing health
clinics and facilitating the socioeconomic development of local
potentially life-threatening illness caused by a protozoan parasite
spread by insects, blood transfusions and congenially, Chagas
disease is the focus of research by OU-HCOM and its partner, the
Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) at the Pontificia
Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) in Quito. Chagas affects 11
million people, mainly in the Americas. Approximately 200,000
Ecuadorians are infected with Chagas.
2011, OU-HCOM conducted a clinical study of the Bellamaría community
and found a high prevalence of parasites and water borne diseases,
which the new drinking water system will help prevent.
institute is joining forces with several local Rotary Clubs,
including the Athens (noon and morning) and Nelsonville clubs, to
raise funds for the project that will be matched not only by the
international Rotary organization, but also by Rotary Clubs in
Ecuador, Grijalva said.
fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. in
Walter Rotunda Hall on the campus of Ohio University. Guest speaker
will be Steve Lewine from Builders Beyond Borders, who will talk
about the importance of “service beyond self,” a core principle of
Rotary International, and how to combine local community service
with international community service. Light appetizers will be
Tickets for the event are $25, and can be purchased at 332 Irvine
Hall or by requesting via email and tickets will be delivered.
Contact Conor Tong at
or Leigh Oczkowski at
to order tickets.