There is an interesting on-going discussion around the evidence base for deworming. There is consensus that treating children for intestinal worms is safe and appropriate. The discussion focuses on whether the evidence we have to date, specifically the evidence on education and labor market outcomes, does justify mass treatment programs of the sort supported by our Deworm the World Initiative; that is, programs in which all children in an endemic area are treated, without determining infection status. In this post, we aim to point to some resources that summarize the evidence on this question, provide links to the conversations that inform this discussion, and share why we find deworming to be a sound investment.
Last week, the community of global stakeholders combatting the scourge of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), the major category of intestinal worms that we focus on, came together to discuss groundbreaking investments and chart a path forward in the fight against STH. In a series of events hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, the community agreed to work collaboratively toward the collective goal of scaling treatment of STH globally.