Intestinal Worms

The Challenge

Intestinal worms are among the most common infections in the world, affecting more than 1.5 billion people based on estimates by the World Health Organization. Most of those infected live in tropical and sub-tropical regions in some of the world’s most distressed communities where sanitation is poor.

Research has shown that hookworm infections in children have resulted in a 23% drop in school attendance.

Infections caused by soil-transmitted helminthes are chronic and disabling and include roundworm, whipworm and hookworm. These parasites deprive their hosts of vital nutrients like vitamin A and iron, and weaken the immune systems of young children during crucial stages of growth. Infected children often suffer with painful symptoms such as swollen stomachs, diarrhea, and inflamed intestines, keeping them from attending school.


Our Solution

Helen Keller International is dedicated to providing the most effective and efficient prevention and treatment to combat the spread of intestinal worms and other diseases of poverty. We integrate deworming for children under five into other community-led child survival activities like vitamin A supplementation and polio prevention. For school-aged children we help provide medicine through integrated treatment of other neglected diseases, such as elephantiasis. In total, last year our efforts we reached 42 million African children with this vital intervention. 

Our programs also help improve access to clean water and sanitation and provide school health education to encourage better hygiene habits in at-risk communities. Each year, we reach tens of millions in Africa and Asia with vital medication and information to help prevent the spread of intestinal worms and help communities incorporate sustainable measures to keep their children healthy.