Child development center-based sentinel surveillance of soil-transmitted helminthiases in preschool-age children in selected local government units in the Philippines.Acta Trop. 2019 Jun; 194:100-105.AT
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) remains a public health concern in developing countries, such as the Philippines. Preschool-age children (PSAC) are among the high-risk groups for STH. Data on the status of STH in PSAC are needed to help guide policy formulation and program implementation; however, in the usual setting, such data may remain limited. This study aimed to describe the parasitologic status of PSAC in selected local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines through sentinel surveillance methodology in a child-development center (CDC)-based setting. This cross-sectional study, which included 1732 PSAC in selected barangays (a village or the smallest administrative unit in the country) in the provinces of Cavite, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Davao del Norte and cities of Iloilo and Lapu-Lapu in the Philippines, utilized Kato-Katz technique to determine parasitologic status. A single Kato-Katz smear was prepared from the adult-thumb sized stool sample submitted by each participant. Ten percent of Kato-Katz slides examined by field microscopists were re-examined by a reference microscopist as part of quality control. Results showed a prevalence of any STH infection and a moderate-heavy ((M-H)) intensity prevalence of 24.9% and 10.3%, respectively. Five cases of schistosomiasis were found in Lapu-Lapu City and Davao del Norte. While the Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) - Integrated Helminth Control Program (IHCP) target for prevalence of any STH of less than 50% was attained, none of the barangays or villages met the World Health Organization (WHO) target for (M-H) intensity STH prevalence of less than 1%, despite the program being implemented for almost a decade. Sentinel surveillance in PSAC, possibly adopting a CDC-based approach, may be implemented biannually in the Philippines and other countries where a similar early child care development system exist to generate data needed to guide policy formulation and program implementation. Preventive chemotherapy through facility-based mass drug administration (MDA), such as CDC-based MDA, may be explored to improve the mode of MDA delivery and coverage in PSAC.