Can coverage of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis control programmes targeting school-aged children be improved? New approaches.Parasitology. 2009 Nov; 136(13):1781-8.P
Control programmes generally use a school-based strategy of mass drug administration to reduce morbidity of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) in school-aged populations. The success of school-based programmes depends on treatment coverage. The community-directed treatment (ComDT) approach has been implemented in the control of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in Africa and improves treatment coverage. This study compared the treatment coverage between the ComDT approach and the school-based treatment approach, where non-enrolled school-aged children were invited for treatment, in the control of schistosomiasis and STH among enrolled and non-enrolled school-aged children. Coverage during the first treatment round among enrolled children was similar for the two approaches (ComDT: 80.3% versus school: 82.1%, P=0.072). However, for the non-enrolled children the ComDT approach achieved a significantly higher coverage than the school-based approach (80.0 versus 59.2%, P<0.001). Similar treatment coverage levels were attained at the second treatment round. Again, equal levels of treatment coverage were found between the two approaches for the enrolled school-aged children, while the ComDT approach achieved a significantly higher coverage in the non-enrolled children. The results of this study showed that the ComDT approach can obtain significantly higher treatment coverage among the non-enrolled school-aged children compared to the school-based treatment approach for the control of schistosomiasis and STH.