, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 507-515

The problem and control of gastrointestinal helminthiases in Zimbabwe

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Abstract

An overview of the problem of gastrointestinal (GI) helminthiases in Zimbabwe is given in terms of prevalence, distribution, clinical significance of individual parasites and their transmission patterns. Although data on these aspects are incomplete, the available information and the results of studies conducted elsewhere should assist in the planning and implementation of effective helminthiasis intervention strategies. Community-based integrated helminthiasis control measures that include mass chemotherapy, improved sanitation and health education are considered to be the most practical interventions and are being evaluated in Zimbabwe. This community-based approach is cost-effective, as most of the control measures are carried out on a self-help basis. Besides, local voluntary health committees provide consistent community-level surveillance to promote and motivate the population to join in the intervention measures that include improved sanitation and health education, aspects which have broader implications for improved health.