Monitoring the impact of a national school based deworming programme on soil-transmitted helminths in Kenya: the first three years, 2012 - 2014.

25 Jul 2016
koyo C, Nikolay B, Kihara J, Simiyu E, Garn JV, Freeman MC, Mwanje MT5, Mukoko DA, Brooker SJ, Pullan RL, Njenga SM, Mwandawiro CS.


In 2012, the Kenyan Ministries of Health and of Education began a programme to deworm all school-age children living in areas at high risk of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) and schistosome infections. The impact of this school-based mass drug administration (MDA) programme in Kenya is monitored by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) as part of a five-year (2012-2017) study. This article focuses on the impact of MDA on STH infections and presents the overall achieved reductions from baseline to mid-term, as well as yearly patterns of reductions and subsequent re-infections per school community.


The study involved a series of pre- and post-intervention, repeat cross-sectional surveys in a representative, stratified, two-stage sample of schools across Kenya. The programme contained two tiers of monitoring; a national baseline and mid-term survey including 200 schools, and surveys conducted among 60 schools pre- and post-intervention. Stool samples were collected from randomly selected school children and tested for helminth infections using Kato-Katz technique. The prevalence and mean intensity of each helminth species were calculated at the school and county levels and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) were obtained by binomial and negative binomial regression, respectively, taking into account clustering by schools.


The overall prevalence of STH infection at baseline was 32.3 % (hookworms: 15.4 %; Ascaris lumbricoides: 18.1 %; and Trichuris trichiura: 6.7 %). After two rounds of MDA, the overall prevalence of STH had reduced to 16.4 % (hookworms: 2.3 %; A. lumbricoides: 11.9 %; and T. trichiura: 4.5 %). The relative reductions of moderate to heavy intensity of infections were 33.7 % (STH combined), 77.3 % (hookworms) and 33.9 % (A. lumbricoides). For T. trichiura, however, moderate to heavy intensity of infections increased non-significantly by 18.0 % from baseline to mid-term survey.


The school-based deworming programme has substantially reduced STH infections, but because of ongoing transmission additional strategies may be required to achieve a sustained interruption of transmission.