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An integrated approach to control neglected tropical diseases

Background: The global strategy to control helminthiasis is preventive chemotherapy, which is the regular administration of anthelminthic drugs to at-risk populations. However, re-infection can occur rapidly as long as access to clean water and adequate sanitation has not been improved and hygiene behaviour remained unchanged. Current control efforts do not take these latter aspects sufficiently into account, despite a rich body of historic evidence that water supply and sanitation are key factors for prevention and sustainable control of helminthiases.

Goal: The overarching goal is to assess and quantify the effect of a truly integrated control approach (i.e. preventive chemotherapy combined with CLTS and health education) on reinfection patterns of soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomes and intestinal protozoa in selected villages within the recently established Taabo health and demographic surveillance site (Taabo HDSS) in south-central Côte d’Ivoire.

Methods: The study will be conducted in eight villages. Half of the villages will benefit from integrated control, whereas the other four villages will only be targeted by preventive chemotherapy. Baseline parasitological examinations will take place in all eight villages as well as KAPB assessment in all households. This procedure will be repeated 1 year later to evaluate the effect of preventive chemotherapy coupled with CLTS and health education, compared to preventive chemotherapy alone.

Expected results: The effect of this integrated control approach on re-infection patterns with soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomes, intestinal protozoa and hygiene related KAPB in the eight selected villages will be known.