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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2008 Dec;102(12):1201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.04.036. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Coverage and costs of a school deworming programme in 2007 targeting all primary schools in Lao PDR.

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National School Health Taskforce, Department of Hygiene and Prevention, Ministry of Health, Simuang Road, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR.


Infections with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are among the commonest infections in Lao PDR. Recent investigation in this country showed that intestinal helminths currently infect the majority of school-aged children. The Lao Government has addressed the problem by organizing regular anthelminthic chemotherapy with mebendazole 500mg for school and pre-school children in conjunction with health education activities incorporated into the national school curriculum. The school deworming campaign in Lao PDR reached a national coverage rate of 95% at a cost of US$0.124/head for two rounds of deworming per year. The programme operates under the umbrella of the national school health programme. After 1 year (two rounds of deworming) the intervention reduced the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides from 60% to 20% and of Trichuris trichiura from 42% to 31%. Although infection was not eliminated by the deworming interventions, over 90% of those children who remain infected had a 'light' infection. The virtual absence of high and moderate intensity infection demonstrates the effectiveness of periodical deworming in reducing morbidity due to STHs. We expect that additional rounds of deworming will further reduce the STH prevalence in Lao PDR.

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