e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Deworming to combat the health and nutritional impact of soil-transmitted helminths

Soil-transmitted helminths are among the most common infections in developing countries. They impair the nutritional status of the people they infect in multiple ways, including:

  • feeding on host tissues, including blood, which leads to a loss of iron and protein
  • increasing malabsorption of nutrients.

Some soil-transmitted helminths also cause loss of appetite and therefore a reduction of nutrition intake and physical fitness.

The nutritional impairment caused by soil-transmitted helminths is recognized to have a significant impact on growth and physical development. To reduce the worm burden, WHO recommends periodic drug treatment (deworming) of all children living in endemic areas. WHO also recommends health and hygiene education, and the provision of adequate sanitation.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

25 March 2014 13:29 CET

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee