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Title: School-based health education for the control of soil-transmitted helminthiases in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand
Authors: M. T. Anantaphruti
J. Waikagul
W. Maipanich
S. Nuamtanong
D. Watthanakulpanich
S. Pubampen
T. Kusolsuk
Mahidol University
Keywords: Immunology and Microbiology;Medicine
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2008
Citation: Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. Vol.102, No.6 (2008), 521-528
Abstract: ansmitted helminthiases are major parasitic diseases that cause health problems world-wide. School-based health education is one of several basic interventions currently recommended by the World Health Organization for the control of these infections. A 3-year programme of health education for the control of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) has recently been completed in four primary schools in the Hauykayeng subdistrict of Thong Pha Phum district, in the Kanchanaburi province of Thailand. Overall, the percentage of the schoolchildren found infected with STH increased between the start of year 1 of the intervention (16.6%) and the end of year 2 (23.8%) but showed signs of falling by the end of year 3 (19.4%). Although none of these year-on-year changes in overall prevalence was statistically significant, some significant trends were detected when the six school grades (i.e. age-groups) were considered separately. The grade showing the highest prevalence of STH infection changed, from grade 6 (representing the oldest children investigated) at the start of year 1 (when grade-1 children were excluded from the survey) to grade 1 (representing the youngest children) at the ends of year 2 and year 3. By the end of year 3, the children in grades 5 and 6 had significantly lower prevalences of infection than the grade-1 subjects. The prevalence of STH infection in the grade-1 children was significantly higher than that in any of the older grades at the end of year 2 and significantly higher than that in grades 3-6 at the end of year 3. These results indicate that the health education had a greater impact on the children in the higher grades (who, presumably had better levels of understanding and practised better, personal, infection prevention) than on the younger children. Although school-based interventions can serve as a useful entry point for parasite control, more effort, including anfhelminthic treatment, may be required among the youngest children. The activities need to be sustainable and supported by appropriate school-health policies. © 2008 The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
ISSN: 00034983
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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