Common causes of illness in these areas, which generally do not have wells or electricity is parasitic infections from drinking standing water, and from malaria, from mosquitos who breed in that same standing water.
"In sub-Saharan Africa, two of five children in a family are likely to have died of malaria before they reach their fifth birthday," Dr. Reed said.
Mosquito nets were distributed among the villages, 400 nets in all, generally to the pregnant, and families with small children.
"The barriers of language and culture were brought down instantly when donated soccer balls were given to the kids, and a highlight was a soccer game that inevitably took place after the medical work was done," Dr. Reed said. "Heidi also taught children songs and dance which was a bog hit. The children in the villages had likely never seen people with white skin and blonde hair, which made Heidi quite a unusual sight for them."
There is no ambulance system, no public transit system, and, in these villages, no other source of health care. Eastern Hills provides support to a health care worker who provides the only link with a health care system to about 10,000 who live on less than $1/day.