World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN health agency recommends large-scale deworming

UN health agency recommends large-scale deworming to improve children’s health

29 September 2017 – The suffering of those infected with parasitic intestinal can be drastically reduced with periodic deworming programmes with a single-tablet treatment, according to new guidelines approved by the United Nations health agency.

“There is now global evidence-based consensus that periodic, large-scale deworming is the best way to reduce the suffering caused by intestinal worms,” said Dirk Engels, Director of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Department at the World Health Organization (WHO), which also noted that such programmes can also protect the 1.5 billion people currently estimated to be at risk.

WHO aims to eliminate the harm caused by worm infections in children by 2020 by regularly treating at least 75 per cent of the estimated 873 million children in areas where prevalence is high. In 2016, WHO Member States treated 63 per cent of children requiring treatment.

“Now that the world has agreed standards for deworming at-risk populations, we are in a better position to reach this target,” Antonio Montresor, who heads WHO’s global deworming programme.

The guidelines have been approved by WHO’s Guidelines Review Committee.

Four main species of intestinal worms, also known as soil-transmitted helminths, affect almost a quarter of the world’s poorest and mostly marginalized people. The worms disrupt people’s ability to absorb nutrients and impede the growth and physical development of millions of children.

Large-scale deworming programmes use medicines donated by pharmaceutical companies. These medicines are shipped to countries requesting them, and distributed during mass treatment campaigns.

“Providing medicines to populations at risk reduces the intensity of intestinal helminth infections,” said Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, adding however that improving basic hygiene, sanitation, health education and providing access to safe drinking-water are also keys to resolving the health and nutritional problems caused by intestinal worms.

Many countries combine deworming activities for pre-school children with other health campaigns, such as vaccination, child health and vitamin supplementation d

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>

Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>

Euro Med Monitor: Syria Cross-border Aid Mechanism Extension Is Necessary For The Survival Of Millions

Permanent members of the UN Security Council should extend the cross-border aid to northwestern Syria, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Tuesday in a statement...

UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>

Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>