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Children in Kenya on a deworming day

​Children in Kenya on a deworming day 

​​​​Over 600 million school-age children are infected with parasitic worms.

School-age children typically have the highest burden of worm infection of any age group with an estimated 400 million worldwide suffering from soil-transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis.
​Chronic worm infections are widespread. They can negatively affect all aspects of a child's development: their health, nutrition, cognitive development, learning and educational access and achievement. 

Why Deworm?

School-based deworming is universally recognized as a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. The benefits of school-based deworming are both immediate and enduring.

Regular treatment can reduce school absenteeism by 25%. Deworming increases adult earnings by over 20%; as a consequence of greater earnings and workforce participation when these children grow to be adults. And this is at a cost of less than 50 US cents per child per year.  

With more schools than clinics, and more teachers than health workers, the existing and extensive education infrastructure provides the most efficient way to reach the highest number of school-age children. With the support from the local health system, teachers can administer treatment to large numbers of school-age children with minimal training.

School-based deworming has been identified by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT as one of the most cost-effective ways to increase school participation of any approach rigorously tested. A group of Nobel Laureates and other economists at the Copenhagen Consensus Center have also identified school-based deworming as one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to the global challenges facing us today.

School-based deworming is now recognized as a significant contributor to achieving Education For All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals. As a result, Ministries of Education, United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and other development partners have made school-based deworming an education policy priority.

Deworming documents and resource centre:
Further links to information on worms on schoolsandhealth:

Other Key Resources:


On the 30th January 2012, the Bill Gates Foundation and 
the UK Coalition against NTDs held a meeting on combating the diseases by 2020. Read the full article on the meeting and its outcomes. Watch the full clip where panel members, including Bill Gates and Dr Chan from the WHO, discuss how elimination of the NTDs can be furthered by 2020.

Panel at the event on Combatting to eliminate NTDs 

Deworm the World: a Call to Action explains in  more depth how parasitic infections are easily spread in the global south, and consequently the threats that infection poses to child learning and development. A simple and cost effective solution is also advocated in the film.  
Watch deworm the world a call to action.
Community in Bihar state, India
In the Bihar state of India 18 million children strive to go to school and half of these are infected with intestinal worms. The film 'Making History in India' explains how an integrated approach taken to deworming in the region, was a huge success, and how this can be used as an example of good practice in deworming implementation. 
Watch Making History in India.

Community in Bihar state, India