Brief communication (Original). National survey of helminthiasis in Thailand

Abstract

Background: Helminth infections continue to pose serious health problems in Thailand. The infections of greatest concern are opisthorchiasis and hookworm.

Objectives: We evaluated the prevalence of these infections. The Thai Ministry of Health established a national health plan in 1995 to coordinate health plans for the provincial public health sectors.

Methods: A national survey based on probability sampling, interviews, and stool examinations was conducted in 2009 to gather prevalence information of the helminth infections.

Results: We found an overall prevalence of helminthiasis among 15,555 Thai people of 18.1%. The highest prevalence was found in the northeastern regions of Thailand. By comparison with previous surveys conducted over the past 5 decades, the prevalence rates have decreased. However, pockets of high infection remain, particularly in the north and northeast of Thailand.

Conclusions: Targeted intervention by means of educational programs and public health intervention, and continuing surveillance are indicated.

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