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For more than 100 years, countries have used mass drug administration as a public health response to soil-transmitted helminth infection. The series of analyses published as Disease Control Priorities is the World Bank's vehicle for exploring the cost-effectiveness and value for money of public health interventions. The first edition was published in 1993 as a technical supplement to the World Bank's World Development Report Investing in Health where deworming was used as an illustrative example of value for money in treating diseases with relatively low morbidity but high prevalence. Over the second (2006) and now third (2017) editions deworming has been an increasingly persuasive example to use for this argument. The latest analyses recognize the negative impact of intestinal worm infection on human capital in poor communities and document a continuing decline in worm infection as a result of the combination of high levels of mass treatment and ongoing economic development trends in poor communities.

Original publication




Journal article


Advances in parasitology

Publication Date





127 - 154


London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:


Animals, Humans, Helminthiasis, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Anthelmintics, Cost of Illness, Health Policy