Evaluation of the Helminthiasis Control Program in Thailand at the End of the 8th Health Development Plan, 2001

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Praphasri Jongsuksuntigul
Datchanee Manatrakul
Thitima Wongsaroj
Patamavadee Krisanamara
Sripen Sawatdimongkol
Sukunya Wongsaroj



The objective of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of helminthiasis control in the year 2001, which was the final year of the 8th Health Development Plan. Data were collected to determine the prevalence and intensity of liverfluke and hookworm infections. Thirty-cluster sampling was carried out in each of 12 public health regions, obtaining a total of 14,400 individual samples. Kato’s thick smear and Kato-Katz’s methods were used to diagnose helminth infection.

Data concerning health behavior assessment were collected through interviews with the same sample group designated for stool examination.

The results obtained showed that the areas with liverfluke prevalence higher than the target set by the Ministry of Public Health were in regions 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 with the average prevalences at 13.3, 16.1, 16.6, 20.6, and 26.3%, respectively. The intensities of liverfluke infections in all regions were mostly at low and moderate levels.

The areas with higher prevalence of hookworm infections than the 8th Health Development Plan were regions 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12 with averages of 12.9, 11.0, 11.6, 10.3, 11.6, 19.7, and 21.1%, respectively. The intensities were mostly at low and moderate levels.

The health risk behavior among the population was the consumption of liverfluke risk foods, which were raw or improperly cooked freshwater fish. The occasional consumption and frequent consumption rates were between 15.0-59.8%, while the percentage of hookworm health risk behaviors ie the habit of wearing inappropriate footwear, was 26.5, and the percentage of those who defecated outside the latrine, inducing hookworm transmission, was 39.1. In addition, it was also found that 68.2% of the samples had experience with stool examination and 71.6% of them had never before taken any anthelminthic drug.

The data obtained from this assessment firmly indicated that both liverfluke and hookworm infection remained significant public health problems in certain areas of Thailand. A better targeted planning approach is strongly recommended, together with adequate resource allocation and sufficient staff development for effective implementation. Community participation is also needed for the accomplishment of sustainable helminthiasis control.

Keywords : liverfluke infection, hookworm infection, prevalence rate, intensity, health risk behavior

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