Evidence Action is pleased to announce that we have joined the STH Coalition, a new group of organizations focused on reducing the public health threat of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) worldwide. Soil-transmitted helminths –intestinal parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm– affect the health, education, and livelihoods of over one billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization has set a target of reaching 75% of all at-risk children by 2020; yet only 32% of children received deworming drugs in 2012. Given the magnitude and complexity of the challenge, we at Evidence Action believe that a cross-sectoral, collaborative approach to addressing STH is essential.
Earlier this year, nine organizations pledged more than US $120 million toward STH control, building on the momentum created by the World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Roadmap and the substantial commitments made as part of the 2012 London Declaration. Johnson & Johnson and Glaxo Smith Kline have committed to donating six billion doses of deworming drugs through 2020, enough to treat all school-age children in need.
Building on this momentum, the STH Coalition was created to to coordinate and collaborate on efforts to:
- Catalyze demand for and scale up deworming programs.
- Facilitate efforts to prevent reinfection and reduce STH transmission through a multi-pronged approach.
- Support advocacy and resource mobilization for effective programs.
Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative now reaches more than 35 million children, in partnership with governments and NGOs, in school-based mass deworming programs in countries such as Kenya and India, and soon Vietnam.
We believe it is important to join in a global effort to reduce the threat that STH pose and are thrilled to be part of the growing STH Coalition.