Successful Control of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis in School Age Children in Burkina Faso and an Example of Community-Based Assessment via Lymphatic Filariasis Transmission Assessment Survey.

Drabo F, Ouedraogo H, Bougma R, Bougouma C, Bamba I, Zongo D, Bagayan M, Barrett L, Yago-Wienne F, Palmer S, Chu B, Toubali E, Zhang Y


Burkina Faso is endemic with soil-transmitted helminth infections. Over a decade of preventive chemotherapy has been implemented through annual lymphatic filariasis (LF) mass drug administration (MDA) for population aged five years and over, biennial treatment of school age children with albendazole together with schistosomiasis MDA and biannual treatment of pre-school age children through Child Health Days. Assessments were conducted to evaluate the current situation and to determine the treatment strategy for the future.


A cross-sectional assessment was conducted in 22 sentinel sites across the country in 2013. In total, 3,514 school age children (1,748 boys and 1,766 girls) were examined by the Kato-Katz method. Overall, soil-transmitted helminth prevalence was 1.3% (95% CI: 1.0-1.8%) in children examined. Hookworm was the main species detected, with prevalence of 1.2% (95% CI: 0.9-1.6%) and mean egg counts of 2.1 epg (95% CI: 0-4.2 epg). Among regions, the Centre Ouest region had the highest hookworm prevalence of 3.4% (95% CI: 1.9-6.1%) and mean egg counts of 14.9 epg (95% CI: 3.3-26.6 epg). A separate assessment was conducted in the Centre Nord region in 2014 using community-based cluster survey design during an LF transmission assessment survey (TAS). In this assessment, 351 children aged 6-7 years and 345 children aged 10-14 years were examined, with two cases (0.6% (95% CI: 0.2-2.1%)) and seven cases (2.0% (95% CI: 1.0-4.1%)) of hookworm infection was identified respectively. The results using both age groups categorized the region to be 2% to <10% in STH prevalence according to the pre-defined cut-off values.


Through large-scale preventive chemotherapy, Burkina Faso has effectively controlled STH in school age children in the country. Research should be conducted on future strategies to consolidate the gain and to interrupt STH transmission in Burkina Faso. It is also demonstrated that LF TAS provides one feasible and efficient platform to assess the STH situation for post LF MDA decision making.