Anemia and malnutrition are two detrimental side effects of several NTDs. Even when people have enough food to eat, NTDs rob their bodies of nutrients that they need. Anemia and malnourishment can occur as a result of infection with one or more of the soil transmitted helminthes (ascariasis, trichuriasis and hookworm), as well as schistosomiasis. Together, these four NTDs impact more than half a billion people. Parasites like hookworm and ascariasis actually consume key nutrients from the food that a person needs to be healthy, minimizing the impact of food aid in cases of extreme hunger.
Chronic anemia and malnourishment can cause children to experience delays in physical and cognitive development as well as increased morbidity for expectant mothers.
Additionally, a team of leading economists at the 2012 Copenhagen Consensus found malnutrition to be the single most important area for investment and argued for bundling interventions, including treatment for intestinal worms, in order to provide a greater return on this investment. The outcome document gave further proof that a comprehensive approach to food security that includes deworming provides a “best buy” in public health.
- Global Network Factsheet: Nutrition and Food Security
- Malnutrition and parasitic helminth infections
- Parasitic Infections, Anemia and Malnutrition Among Rural Settled and Mobile Pastoralist Mothers and Their Children in Chad
- A review and meta-analysis of the impact of intestinal worms on child growth and nutrition
- Increased Birth Weight Associated with Regular Pre-Pregnancy Deworming and Weekly Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation for Vietnamese Women
- Copenhagen Consensus Outcome Document