Facebook Pixel Code
GCH banner
Centre for Global Child Health

Health and education benefits of interventions to control soil-transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis: revisiting the evidence using individual participant data and network meta-analysis

Principal investigator: Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Inaugural Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and the Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University.

Despite the availability of more recent global estimates on the burden of both soil-transmitted helminthes and schistosomiasis (STH&S), additional research is needed to understand the factors that explain the variation in the effect estimates of recommended interventions to prevent STH&S transmission. Specifically, a critical knowledge gap is how the effectiveness of mass antihelminthic drug administration (MDA) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are affected by both individual and community-level factors, and by each other.

The purpose of this exercise is to characterize factors that modify the effect of WASH and MDA interventions on STH&S transmission and to quantify the effect of deworming efforts in specific sub-populations. Such “targeted” deworming has been identified as a strategy of interest in a recent Cochrane review, however, more data are needed to evaluate this approach. We propose to do this through a global systematic review of existing studies, using individual patient data and network meta analysis approaches. The potential modifying factors to be evaluated would include, broadly: socioeconomic status, demographic factors, soil-transmitted helminthes (STH) infection characteristics, community levels of WASH and STHs, agricultural and water practices, other interventions and characteristics of medical treatment where such data may be available. The work will be guided by an advisory group of global experts on STH&S epidemiology and public health and policy interventions.

This information will be important for priority setting for research and interventions to tackle the global burden of both STHs and schistosomiasis and will also inform global policy. This project will further aim to aid in the development of an evidence-based consensus on an implementable plan for the prevention, control and possible elimination of STH&S.

Project collaborators include University of Ottawa, Aga Khan University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Supported by:  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.