Inexpensive school-based deworming treatment improves health and school attendance in the short term and improves productivity in the long term.

From 1998 - 2001 a series of studies evaluating the Primary School Deworming Project (PSDP), a school-based deworming programme which was carried out in Western Kenya showed that deworming treatment is not only highly effective and inexpensive, and thatit is easy to administer through public schools, and brings benefits to children years after treatment.

Image of graph showing impacts of deworming throughout the PSDP trial


(Fig 2 from J-PAL Policy Bulletin, Deworming - A Best Buy for Development,March 2012)






The studies showed that in the schools where deworming was carried out:

  • Moderate to heavy worm infections decreased dramatically and other health indicators such as anaemia and self-reported illnesses alsoimproved.
  • Attendance rates also increased. A decade later, children who had been infants when the deworming programme started in their community showed cognitive gains, equivalent to 0.5 - 0.8 years of schooling.
Hundreds of millions of children worldwide are still at risk of worm infection, so providing free school-based deworming treatment is a policy "win" for health, education and development.

Original summary of results and details on the PSDP can be found in theBulletin, Deworming - A Best Buy for Developmentfrom J-PAL Poverty Action Lab.