Deworm the World Initiative

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Deworm the World Initiative was founded in 2007 as an initiative of the Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum. Evidence Action, an organization which scales proven development interventions, now leads the Deworm the World Initiative. It works with Ministries of Health in Africa and India to launch and support school-based deworming programs to protect children against Neglected Tropical Diseases caused by parasitic worms.

Donate to Deworm the World Initiative here

How it works

  • Deworm the World Initiative, in consultation with local governments, plans and executes mass de-worming programs targeted at children in schools.
  • Teachers are trained to administer the treatments, and mass treatments take place at intervals of six months, a year or two years depending on prevalence.
  • Even children not enrolled at schools are encouraged to come along to receive treatment.
  • As well as improving health outcomes, regular treatment has been shown to increase school attendance and improve educational outcomes.

Why we recommend it

Deworm the World Initiative is one of only a very few charities which focus exclusively on Neglected Tropical Diseases. NTDs are so-called because treatment is cheap and effective, but chronically underfunded due to lack of publicity (and therefore donations).

It is highly cost-effective, and has been listed by the Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT (J-PAL) as a "best buy" in public health. It costs around $0.50 per child per year. It has so far reached over 40 million children in 27 countries.

Deworm the World Initiative has a similar focus to SCI but may in fact be more effective because of its focus on children (who tend to respond better to treatment to adults) and the fact that governments bear most of the cost of treatments. It is however possible that these governments would have run successful programs without its help.

Case study: treatment programme in Bihar, India

  • Half of all children in Bihar suffered from intestinal worms, making them sick, lethargic and less able to concentrate at school.
  • In 2011 the Bihar Departments of Health and Education, in collaboration with Deworm the World Initiative, launched a mass deworming campaign.
  • Around 140,000 teachers and 20,000 health workers were trained to help deliver medication in schools.
  • The campaign treated 17 million children, leaving them free of worms for a year. It repeated the process in 2012 to maintain low levels of infection throughout the community.

Read more about one boy’s story.

Further information and donations

For further information, visit Deworm the World’s website or GiveWell’s detailed report into their effectiveness. We also have more in depth information about Neglected Tropical Diseases.