The Partnership for Child Development have published a new policy paper, School-Based Deworming: A Clear Role for the European Commission.
Periodic drug treatment for children in schools though school-based deworming represents a highly strategic approach to tackling soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and schistosomiasis. Integrated programmes that deliver deworming, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health education and other key interventions lead to even greater long-term impact.
PCD's brief argues that the European Commission (EC) is on the margins of the growing global movement against NTDs. With its financial resources, technical capacity and global network, the EC can and should be at the forefront of efforts to tackle NTDs, in particular schistosomiasis and STH. In order to rise to this task, the EC requires a clear policy direction, and must ensure that the control and elimination of schistosomiasis and STH are integrated into its education, nutrition and WASH strategies and programmes.
Among its recommendations, the brief outlines the EC should:
- Develop a policy on NTDs that clearly recognises the threat that these diseases pose to global health, education and nutrition.
- Ensure that the control and elimination of schistosomiasis and STH are integrated into its education, nutrition and WASH strategies and programmes.
- Work with the World Health Organization and national governments to prepare and implement integrated plans for NTD control that markedly include school-based deworming programmes.
- Significantly increase funding to R&D for NTDs, in particular schistosomiasis and STH, and help national governments to address operational challenges experienced by school-based deworming programmes.
- Promote NTDs on the international stage, including in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.