The Government of Pakistan has initiated the “Deworm Islamabad Initiative,” targeting 570,000 children aged 5-15 in Islamabad who are at risk of infection with intestinal worms. Trained school teachers administered free-of-cost deworming medicine (mebendazole), which is universally recognized as a safe and cost-effective treatment.
To comprehensively determine the burden, intensity, and geographical distribution of STH in Pakistan and to inform an appropriate treatment strategy, Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative collaborated with Interactive Research and Development (IRD), the Indus Hospital, and the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) to conduct the first nationwide STH survey in Pakistan in late 2016.
Despite the availability of inexpensive and easy-to-use technologies and simple behaviors that can prevent diarrhea, it kills more than half a million children a year, predominantly in the developing world. More troubling still, social scientists have found it challenging to get high adoption rates and maintain participation amongst poor households, even when the technology is provided free.
In a randomized controlled trial in Karachi, Pakistan, I test the hypothesis that perhaps families need tools that clearly demonstrate the impact of health interventions – in this case, chlorine tablets for water purification.