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Selected economic issues in helminth control

By N. Prescott and M. F. Jancloes

Abstract

This paper examines four main economic issues in the formulation of helminth control policies: whether, what, how and with whose resources to control helminthiasis. The paper argues that (i) although helminth control would have a negligible impact on mortality, its nutrition-mediated effects on improved labor productivity and intellectual performance may be significant; (ii) that reduction of helminth disease rather than infection should be the target of control policy, although the preferred intervention may still be eradication rather than continuous control; and (iii) that although the case for public subsidy of helminth control interventions is strong, the existence of serious fiscal constraints and some evidence of private willingness-to-pay for anthelminthic chemotherapy indicates a potential for partial cost recovery which should be explored.

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