Parasitic Worm - Intestinal Helminths - Prevention and Control - Current Efforts

Current Efforts

One popular approach to intestinal helminth control is school deworming programs. These programs have a number of advantages. They allow health policymakers to take advantage of existing infrastructure and institutions for the dispensation of medical treatment. Furthermore, students already plan to attend school on a somewhat regular basis, and can be educated about the importance of deworming.

School deworming programs have also been shown to have strong positive externalities. A difference-in-difference model proved the deworming programs in some schools reduced the burden of disease in neighboring, untreated schools; deworming children also has strong benefits for adult infection rates, since children are a significant source of transmission.

The nature of the intestinal helminths and the medications available to treat them also favor universal deworming programs. Infection is generally diffuse, so it is worth treating a wide sample of the population; furthermore, a drug such as albendazole is a cheap, safe intervention that is not particularly specific, so can be used fairly effectively against all three of the main intestinal helminths (or any coinfection of them). Finally, because these worms cannot replicate inside their hosts, reducing transmission may be the best way to reduce prevalence, and mass interventions on an annual or biannual basis may in fact be a reasonable means of achieving this goal.

Read more about this topic:  Parasitic Worm, Intestinal Helminths, Prevention and Control

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