Soil transmitted helminth infections and schistosomiasis in school age children in sub-Saharan Africa: Efficacy of chemotherapeutic intervention since World Health Assembly Resolution 2001
Soil transmitted helminth infections (STH) and schistosomiasis constitute major public health challenges among school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa. This review assessed the efficacy of chemotherapeutic intervention in line with the World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution since the passage in 2001. Using the Medline Entrez-Pubmed search, relevant publications were identified via combinations of key words such as helminth infection, school children, chemotherapy, Africa. Albendazole, mebendazole, and praziquantel were the antihelminthic drugs most commonly evaluated. Cure rates >80% and egg reduction rates >90% were recorded in most cases of schistosomiasis using praziquantel. Albendazole was very effective against A. lumbricoides and hookworm infections with majority of the studies recording cure rates >75%, but the efficacy of the drug was poor against T. trichiura. To ensure the realization of the WHA resolution, there is need for regular treatment of school children, development of alternative antihelminthic drugs and vaccines, environmental control measures and health education.