Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH) Report
#GS3 #Science #Diseases
14 States have reported reduction in prevalence of parasitic intestinal worm infection also known as Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH).
- 9 States, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have shown substantial reduction in worm prevalence in the STH.
- In India, there were an estimated 64% children in the age group (1-14 years) at risk of STH as per WHO Report on STH published in 2012.
- The risk was estimated based on the hygiene and sanitation practices and limited STH prevalence data.
- To assess the exact burden of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases in India, the government appointed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal agency to coordinate and conduct nationwide baseline STH mapping.
- NCDC completed the baseline STH mapping across the country by the end of 2016.
- The data showed varied prevalence ranging from 12.5 per cent in Madhya Pradesh to 85 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH)
- Soil-transmitted helminth infections are caused by different species of parasitic worms.
- They are transmitted by eggs present in human faeces, which contaminate the soil in areas where sanitation is poor.
- Infected children are nutritionally and physically impaired. These are known to have detrimental effects on children’s physical growth and well being and can cause anemia and under-nutrition.
- Approximately 1.5 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths worldwide.
- Control is based on periodical deworming to eliminate infecting worms, health education to prevent re-infection, and improved sanitation to reduce soil contamination with infective eggs.
- Safe and effective medicines are available to control infection.
Global distribution and prevalence
- 24% of the world’s population, are infected with soil-transmitted helminth infections worldwide.
- Infections are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, with the greatest numbers occurring in sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, China and East Asia.
- Over 267 million preschool-age children and over 568 million school-age children live in areas where these parasites are intensively transmitted, and are in need of treatment and preventive interventions.
- There are six 2030 global targets for soil-transmitted helminthiases:
- Achieve and maintain elimination of STH morbidity in pre-school and school age children.
- Reduce the number of tablets needed in preventive chemotherapy for STH.
- Increase domestic financial support to preventive chemotherapy for STH.
- Establish an efficient STH control programme in adolescent, pregnant and lactating women.
- Establish an efficient strongyloidiasis control programme in school age children.
- Ensure universal access to at least basic sanitation and hygiene by 2030 in STH-endemic areas.