Children are especially susceptible to intestinal worm infections. Of the more than 1 billion people at-risk around the world, approximately 875 million are children.
More than 1 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), commonly known as intestinal worm infection. STH is a disease of poverty, affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people and preventing them from reaching their full potential.
STH sickens the world’s most vulnerable people
Children are especially susceptible to STH with more than 875 million children at risk of infection. Children with STH experience abdominal pain and distension, intestinal obstruction, increased susceptibility to other serious infections, stunted growth, and impaired cognitive development. They may perform poorly at school at a result of these symptoms—which in turn leads to decreased productivity when these children become adults.
STH is undoing work being done across sectors
When a person is infected with intestinal worms, they don’t suffer alone. Their communities suffer with them. STH is undoing important work that is being done across multiple sectors, including education, nutrition, and maternal health. It also affects the economic potential of communities where people are infected. That’s why multi-sectoral collaboration is vital to achieving STH control around the world.
But the cycle of STH can be broken
Medicines to treat STH are available – thanks to generous donations from GSK and Johnson & Johnson – and can make a huge difference in the lives of children. We also have knowledge of the practices needed to reduce or eliminate the risk of infection. But the resources to effectively distribute these drugs, as well as to share knowledge and implement the comprehensive approaches necessary to prevent reinfection, are still limited. Only 33% of the 875 million children at risk of STH received treatment in 2012. CWW exists to bridge the gap, to collaborate with partners to put resources and knowledge where they are urgently needed.
STH is complex and challenging, but, together, we have the power to create better health, stronger communities, and brighter futures for children by reducing intestinal worm infections. CWW is committed to forging partnerships and working together to achieve our vision of a world in which children are healthy and develop to their full potential.