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Modeling the Interruption of the Transmission of Soil-Transmitted Helminths Infections in Kenya: Modeling Deworming, Water, and Sanitation Impacts

Kenya, just like other countries with endemic soil-transmitted helminths (STH), has conducted regular mass drug administration (MDA) program for the last 5 years among school aged children as a way to reduce STH infections burden in the country. However, the point of interruption of transmission of these infections still remains unclear. In this study, we developed and analyzed an age structured mathematical model to predict the elimination period (i.e., time taken to interrupt STH transmission) of these infections in Kenya. The study utilized a deterministic age structured model of the STH population dynamics under a regular treatment program. The model was applied to three main age groups: pre-school age children (2–4 years), school age children (5–14 years), and adult populations (≥15 years) and compared the impact of two interventions on worm burden and elimination period. The model-simulated results were compared with the 5 year field data from the Kenyan deworming program for all the three types of STH (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm). The model demonstrated that the reduction of worm burden and elimination period depended heavily on four parameter groups; drug efficacy, number of treatment rounds, MDA and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) coverage. The analysis showed that for STH infections to be eliminated using MDA alone in a short time period, 3-monthly MDA plan is desired. However, complementation of MDA with WASH at an optimal (95%) coverage level was most effective. These results are important to the Kenyan STH control program as it will guide the recently launched Breaking Transmission Strategy.

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Journal Article
Okoyo C
Medley G
Mwandawiro C
Onyango N
Year of Publication
Frontiers in Public Health
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