worm infestation and anaemia

In poor countries , some 1.2 billion people are infected by roundworms, more than 700 million by hookworm or whipworm. This high prevalence has much to do with the disposal of faecal material.
The burden on physical and cognitive development in children is substantial. Anaemia is also a problem. 15-25% of anaemia in East Africa is a consequence of hookworm infection. The species of worm affects the risk of anaemia, depending on whether or not the worm induces inflammation in the intestinal mucosa.
Routine deworming programmes are important in increasing haemoglobin concentrations.
In addition to eradicating the infestation it is advisable to replenish the depleted iron stores.
.Awasthi S and Bundy D 2007, Intestinal nematode infection and anaemia in developing countries. BMJ, 334, 1065-6
Gulani A et al 2007 Effect of administration of intestinal anthelmintic drugs on haemoglobin: a systemic review of randomised controlled trials 334, 1095-7

Martin Eastwood
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