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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Abstract

GUYATT, Helen L. et al. Evaluation of efficacy of school-based anthelmintic treatments against anaemia in children in the United Republic of Tanzania. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2001, vol.79, n.8, pp. 695-703. ISSN 0042-9686.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862001000800004.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of deworming on anaemia as part of a large-scale school-based anthelmintic treatment programme in the Tanga Region of the United Republic of Tanzania. METHODS: Both the reduction in the prevalence of anaemia and the cost per case prevented were taken into consideration. Cross-sectional studies involved parasitological examination and anaemia evaluation before and at 10 months and 15 months after schoolchildren were dewormed. FINDINGS: Baseline studies indicated that the prevalence of anaemia (haemoglobin < 110 g/l) was high (54%) among schoolchildren, particularly those with high intensities of hookworm and schistosomiasis. Attributable fraction analysis suggested that hookworm and schistosomiasis were responsible for 6% and 15% of anaemia cases, respectively. Fifteen months after deworming with albendazole and praziquantel the prevalence of anaemia was reduced by a quarter and that of moderate-to- severe anaemia (haemoglobin <90 g/l) was reduced by nearly a half. The delivery of these anthelmintics through the school system was achieved at the relatively low cost of US$ 1 per treated child. The cost per anaemia case prevented by deworming schoolchildren was in the range US$ 6-8, depending on the haemoglobin threshold used. CONCLUSION: The results suggested that deworming programmes should be included in public health strategies for the control of anaemia in schoolchildren where there are high prevalences of hookworm and schistosomiasis.

Keywords : Anthelmintics [therapeutic use]; Albendazole [therapeutic use]; Albendazole [administration and dosage]; Praziquantel [therapeutic use]; Praziquantel [administration and dosage]; Anemia [parasitology]; Hookworm infections [drug therapy]; Hookworm infections [complications]; Schistosomiasis [drug therapy]; Schistosomiasis [complications]; Child; School health services; Cross-sectional studies; Logistic models; Regression analysis; United Republic of Tanzania.

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