The role of health education and sanitation in the control of helminth infections.
Health education and sanitation are two important components of primary health care system introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a basis for the prevention and control of communicable diseases. However, the roles of health education and sanitation in disease control have been controversial, especially in the wake of recent advances in safe and effective oral drugs. This article has reviewed the various health education and sanitation interventions around the world to determine what roles they have played in the past relative to other intervention strategies and the role they have to play in future control efforts. It appears clear-cut from the review, that while chemotherapy has been and will remain the best option for morbidity control, sanitation has an important role to play not only to sustain the benefits of chemotherapy but also to protect the uninfected. Health education that is effective, simple and low-cost remains the only tool for creating the enabling environment for both chemotherapy and sanitation to thrive.