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Quality Data Essential To Eliminating Intestinal Worms

Devex: Using data to guide the way to eliminate intestinal worms
David Addiss, director of Children Without Worms

“…While usually not fatal, [soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH)] contributes to poor nutrition, stunting, anemia, impaired learning, and reduced lifetime earning potential — all of which keep people entrenched in a cycle of poverty. … Data will help us make crucial program decisions and inform us of progress toward our common goal [of controlling STH]. We need good data that allow all members of the public health community to see where [the] greatest risk of STH remains, which segments of the population still need to be treated, and how often these treatments are needed. There are three things we can do to help demand and generate good data: Clarify national-level goals, which can range from controlling diseases in school-age children to interrupting transmission of the parasites. Establish robust monitoring and reporting systems to assess progress toward national goals. Mobilize national-level coalitions and public-private partnerships to ensure coordinated data collection and reporting…” (5/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.