In efforts to reduce the global burden of soil transmitted helminth (STH) infections in school age children (SAC, 6-14 years old), Children Without Worms donates mebendazole to 8 countries with high prevalence of STH infections. Cambodia's national deworming program currently targets SAC through bi-annual school-based distributions of a single dose of mebendazole. A 30-cluster household survey was conducted in the rural province Kampot, to validate mebendazole treatment coverage in SAC and to assess the level of improved water supply and sanitation. Bi-annual primary school-based distributions proved to be an effective strategy in reaching school attending SAC, with treatment coverage rates between 84.1% and 88.8%. However, significantly lower rates (23.3-48.8%) were seen among SAC not enrolled in primary schools. Often members of the most marginalized families of the community, they are particularly at risk of STH infection. Methods to reach these children need to be explored to avoid treatment inequities.
Published by Elsevier B.V.