Intestinal worms (soil transmitted helminths)
Intestinal worms (Soil transmitted helminths)
(Description 150 words max)
known as soil-transmitted helminths (STH), are
parasites that live in the human intestine for food
and survival. Three of the most common types of
intestinal worms infecting man are roundworm
), hookworm (Necator
and Ancylostoma spp
) and whipworm (Trichiuris
). These worms live in the intestines and
infection. They cause morbidity (disease), and occasionally death, and contribute to the perpetuation of poverty by impairing the cognitive performance (learning ability) and growth of children, and reducing the work capacity and productivity of adults.
What are the signs and symptoms
(150-200words max) Signs of worm infection:
Loss of appetite, energy and weight.
Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Itching around the anus or where the worm
Listlessness and generally feeling unwell
What is the treatment
The Intestinal worm infections are treatable,
usually with a single doze of the drug Albendazole (400mg) or Mebendazole
. This drugs are effective and
inexpensive and can be given as a single dose to
children and high risk groups (e.g. women of
child bearing age) living in affected areas. The
drug is safe with minimal side effects. The drugs
kill the adult worms. In the case of roundworms,
which are large, may be noticed when they are
passed out with the faeces.
As reinfection is likely to occur, treatment should
take place once a year, or every six months in
communities with high transmission (reinfection
is a big problem).
Infection cab be avoided by:
2. Washing hands with soap after going to
3. Drinking clean water (or boil the water) 4. Keeping food and house hold water away
5. Washing fruits and vegetables in clean
water before eating to get rid of eggs or larvae
Cost of treatment
(One line max).
Approximately Ksh. 50
(US$ 0.5) for both children and adults.
Complications from Non Treatment, including (150words max) social issues
As numbers of intestinal worms build up over time, they can cause chronic long lasting health problems. The intestinal worms can cause malnutrition, as they rob the body of food through loss of appetite so the children eat less while the food is taken up by the worms. They also stop the food being absorbed properly once it has been eaten. Children with chronic worm infections and large numbers of worms may be stunted and underweight. Heavy infections with roundworm can also cause bowel obstruction which if not treated promptly, leads to death. Intestinal worms can also contribute to anaemia, especially hookworm, which causes bleeding in the intestines and loss of blood. The larger the number of worms, the more likely they are to make the infected persons ill. Chronic infections can lead to long term retardation of mental and physical development in children, and in very severe infections, leads to death.
Disease Burden in Kenya
Over 16 million people at risk
Over 10 million people infected are infected with
Intestinal worms is endemic in 102 districts
(Max 150 words)
Intestinal worms are
transmitted by eggs excreted in human feaces,
which contaminate the soil. Humans are infected
Ingestion of infective eggs or larvae on
Penetration of the skin by infective larvae
that contaminate the soil or fresh water.
Egg or larvae from worms need to be passed out of the human body and infect another person again for the lifecycle to continue. Re-infection
can therefore occur only because of new contact with the contaminated environment.
Any other information
(Max 100 words)
Negative effects of intestinal parasites on in
Diarrhea and vomiting
Intestinal obstruction Education
Poor concentration in class
High absenteeism / lower school attendance
High repetition and drop-out rates
Poor academic performance
Any other information cont’
Common behaviors to address how to reduce
worm transmission Unhygienic habits that allow intestinal worm
eggs to enter the mouth:
1. Not washing hands with clean water and
2. Not washing hands with clean water after
3. Not washing raw vegetables and fruits
4. Not drinking clean water. 5. Keeping nails long.
Behaviors that allow hookworms to penetrate
1. Walking barefoot. 2. Contact with contaminated water (i.e.
Behaviors that allow eggs or larvae to
contaminate the environment:
Defecating anywhere other than a latrine.
Behaviors that may result in the continued
transmission of infection:
1. Failing to comply with treatment. 2. Failing to improve hygiene/sanitation
facilities and the management of human waste (feaces).
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