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A Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Selective Health Interventions for the Control of Intestinal Parasites in Rural Bangladesh

C. G. N. Mascie-Taylor, Mustafa Alam, R. M. Montanari, R. Karim, T. Ahmed, E. Karim and S. Akhtar
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 6-11
DOI: 10.2307/3285691
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3285691
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Study of the Cost Effectiveness of Selective Health Interventions for the Control of Intestinal Parasites in Rural Bangladesh
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Abstract

The study examined the cost effectiveness of 4 different regimens in reducing the prevalence and intensity of infection of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm over an 18-mo period in randomized community samples of children aged 2-8 yr living in rural Bangladesh. The household was the unit of randomization in each community. The 4 regimens were (1) only chemotherapy to all household members at the commencement of the study (i.e., at an interval of 18 mo), (2) same as group (1) and regular health education throughout the study period, (3) chemotherapy to all household members at the commencement of the study and subsequent chemotherapy to all children at intervals of 6 mo, and (4) same as group 3 with the addition of regular health education throughout the study period. Health education (through home and school visits and focus group discussions) was aimed at increasing awareness of worm transmission and the disabilities caused by intestinal helminths. Simple ways of improving personal hygiene and sanitation through hand washing, nail trimming, wearing of shoes, and use of a latrine and clean water supplies were encouraged. Because albendazole is a broad spectrum anthelmintic, the cost effectiveness of the 4 interventions were compared by the weighted percentage reduction in prevalence and the weighted percentage reduction in intensities of infection as measured by geometric mean egg loads of all 3 worms combined. The most cost-effective strategy was the single albendazole mass chemotherapy at an interval of 18 mo. The 2 regimens involving health education were the least cost effective.

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