Health Benefits of repeated anti-helminthic treatment in pediatric schistosomiasis

  1. Funding: Thrasher Research Fund, Medical Research for Children
  2. Collaborators:
  3. Field work: Murewa district in Zimbabwe
  4. Background and Aims:

    The tradidional approach to control schistosomiais in endemic areas is based school-based deworming strategies and it is still used by most control programs. However several studies in african countries reported high prevalences with schistosome infections and associated morbidity in pre-school children. Although often carry only light infections it became evident that the impact of these infection on the health and development of these children cannot be neglected. There is an anti-helminthic drug (praziquantel) which relatively efficently removes worms in school children and use of this drug is safe. It has been shown that treatment of school children has enourmous health benefits. We and other could recently document that the use of praziquatel in pre-school children is efficent and safe. However the optimal treatment regime to gain the best health benefit for these children has to be defined. There for the aim of this study is to implement and evaluate the treatment regimes using the anti-helminthic drug praziquantel in pre-school children to reduce current and further infection burden with urogenital schistosomiasis and thereby to improve the health of these children.

This project is kindly supported by the Thrasher Research Fund.