Health education and the control of intestinal worm infections in China: A new vision

Donald P. McManus, Franziska A. Bieri, Yue Sheng Li, Gail M. Williams, Li Ping Yuan, Yang Henglin, Zun Wei Du, Archie C.A. Clements, Peter Steinmann, Giovanna Raso, Peiling Yap, Ricardo J.Soares Magalhães, Donald Stewart, Allen G. Ross, Kate Halton, Xiao Nong Zhou, Remigio M. Olveda, Veronica Tallo, Darren J. Gray

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Background: The transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) is associated with poverty, poor hygiene behaviour, lack of clean water and inadequate waste disposal and sanitation. Periodic administration of benzimidazole drugs is the mainstay for global STH control but it does not prevent re-infection, and is unlikely to interrupt transmission as a stand-alone intervention. Findings. We reported recently on the development and successful testing in Hunan province, PR China, of a health education package to prevent STH infections in Han Chinese primary school students. We have recently commenced a new trial of the package in the ethnically diverse Xishuangbanna autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province and the approach is also being tested in West Africa, with further expansion into the Philippines in 2015. Conclusions: The work in China illustrates well the direct impact that health education can have in improving knowledge and awareness, and in changing hygiene behaviour. Further, it can provide insight into the public health outcomes of a multi-component integrated control program, where health education prevents re-infection and periodic drug treatment reduces prevalence and morbidity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number344
    Number of pages3
    JournalParasites and Vectors
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2014

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