Eliminating soil-transmitted helminthiases as a public health problem in children
Progress report 2001−2010 and strategic plan 2011−2020
Soil-transmitted helminths are responsible for diseases that thrive where there is poverty and disadvantage. These parasites infect more than 2 billion people in more than 100 countries adversely affecting nutritional status and impairing cognitive processes; in conclusion they make it more difficult for infected populations to surmount poverty.
In 2001, the World Health Assembly, with Resolution 54.19, set the global target of treating at least 75% of children at-risk; in the first 10 years of implementation, the managers of control programmes worldwide made a great effort reaching almost one third of the children in need of treatment.
Global health has dramatically changed since 2001: the control of soil-transmitted helminthiases is now part of a comprehensive set of efforts to control neglected tropical diseases in which the preventive chemotherapy interventions for the different diseases are increasingly integrated and delivered as a package; in addition donations of drugs by partners have made this intervention even more cost-effective.
For the first time in history the elimination of soil-transmitted helminthiases as a public health problem is achievable: this document is intended to guide and coordinate the efforts of all the partners involved.