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Watch: The Economic Impacts of Deworming

Learn how a simple, low-cost public health program can generate extraordinarily high and sustained social and economic returns, and how new research is informing policy decisions affecting millions of lives.

A first-of-its-kind longitudinal study shows that children treated for intestinal worms—which affect more than 1 billion children worldwide and cause adverse health outcomes, impaired cognitive development, reduced school attendance and more—have better jobs, higher wages and a higher standard of living than those who were not treated, even twenty years later. This video reviews the impacts of mass school-based deworming programs in Kenya, how research continues to inform global deworming policy, and new practical tools—for example a Deworming Open Policy Analysis—to further translate evidence into real-world policy decisions.

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Part 1: Overview

Intestinal worms is one of the most prevalent and most treatable neglected tropical diseases affecting more than 1.7 billion people worldwide including more than 1 billion children, according to the World Health Organization. In children and adolescents across low and middle-income countries they cause anemia, impaired intellectual and cognitive development, and stunted growth. New research shows that treating and preventing intestinal worms has extraordinarily high and sustainable social and economic returns—even twenty years after treatment.

Part 2: Research Findings and Impact

Can a simple, low-cost public health intervention impact long-term living standards? A new study demonstrates that 20 years later children, who received deworming treatment have better jobs, higher wages and a higher standard of living, when compared to those who didn’t. Learn how this first-of-its-kind longitudinal analysis of a public health intervention shows that the simple act of deworming schoolchildren impacts their lives into adulthood, and pays for itself many times over.

Part 3: Open Policy Analysis

Building off twenty years of research on the impacts of deworming, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with the NGO Evidence Action, has developed a deworming Open Policy Analysis—a new tool to promote transparent policymaker use of this evidence. This cutting-edge approach combines the results of deworming studies over time and real-world implementation, bridging the gap between research evidence and local financing, programmatic and policy decisions—across different settings. Learn more about how Open Policy Analysis translates rigorous deworming research into widespread policy outcomes, and has the potential to positively affect the lives of millions more children in the decades to come.