Integrated preventive chemotherapy and WASH for intensified schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis control

By Suzy Campbell


When augmented with interventions such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), chemotherapy can have an enduring health impact on the treatment of neglected tropical diseases. Published today in Infectious Diseases of Poverty, a new study analyses the epidemiology of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis at two endemic sites in South West Cameroon. Here, one of the authors of the paper tells us about the study and the impact of a WASH infrastructure.

Preventive chemotherapy (deworming) has a pivotal role in control of certain neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), as a short-term, rapid impact intervention. As these two diseases are strongly associated with poverty, people frequently get re-infected after treatment from their local environment since they have insufficient access to safe water sources or adequate sanitation and hygiene.

To have a more enduring health impact, preventive chemotherapy needs to be augmented with other interventions such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) approaches.

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