Evaluating the variation in the projected benefit of community-wide mass treatment for schistosomiasis: Implications for future economic evaluation
The majority of schistosomiasis control programmes focus on targeting school-aged children. Expanding the use of community-wide mass treatment to reach more adults is under consideration. However, it should be noted that this would require a further increase in programmatic resources, international aid, and commitment for the provision of praziquantel. Consequently, it is important to understand (i) where a change of strategy would have the greatest benefit, and (ii) how generalisable the conclusions of field trials and analytical studies based on mathematical models investigating the impact of community-wide mass treatment, are to a broad range of settings.
In this paper, we employ a previously described deterministic fully age-structured schistosomiasis transmission model and evaluate the benefit of community-wide mass treatment both in terms of controlling morbidity and eliminating transmission for Schistosoma mansoni, across a wide range of epidemiological settings and programmatic scenarios. This included variation in the baseline relative worm pre-control burden in adults, the overall level of transmission in defined settings, choice of effectiveness metric (basing morbidity calculations on prevalence or intensity), the level of school enrolment and treatment compliance.