Soil-transmitted helminths

  • Helminths are parasitic worms (hookworms, roundworms, whipworms) that are transmitted through the fecal-oral route as a result of poor sanitary practices.
  • Areas with warm and moist climates with poor sanitation and hygiene are prefect for Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections.
  • Approximately 1.5 billion people are infected with soil-transmitted helminths worldwide - WHO
  • These STHs can be controlled or eliminated!
Stop STH

Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections one of the most common infections that affect the poorest people. The infections are transmitted by eggs present in human feces which in turn contaminate the soil. Poor sanitation increases the odds of infections.  

The main species that infect people are the roundworm, hookworms and the whipworm - All require similar diagnostic procedures and treatments.  

How many people struggle with Soil-transmitted helminth infections?

Globally, more than 1.5 billion people suffer from soil-transmitted helminth infections - that's 24% of the world’s population! Most of the infections are reported in tropical and subtropical areas. Over 835 million children are at risk and need either preventative interventions or treatment. 

What are the overall effects of a STH infection?

STH infections impact physical health of the infected people:

  • These worms can cause a loss of iron and protein and other vital nutrients.
  • Hookworms can cause anemia.
  • These infections put a child health at at risk - they can cause fatigue, stunted growth and vitamin A malabsorption—a leading cause of death among children under 5 years old in some areas.  
  • Some worms can cause loss of appetite, diarrhea and dysentery.

So what are we doing to help?

effect:hope, partnered with Global Affairs Canada and our partners in Cote d’Ivoire to provides combined deworming treatment and Vitamin A supplementation to children under 5.

Thanks to you, we also trained healthcare workers to provide these interventions to preschool children at their homes or community hubs (markets, churches, mosques, etc). Together, we gave them their best chance of being healthy and ready for school. We work with our partners to encourage parents of girls and boys under 5 years to get involved in their children’s health and share the responsibility of making sure their sons and daughters get the treatment every 6 months.

We are working with local partners in countries like Liberia to strengthen the health system so it can identify and manage all neglected tropical diseases so affected people will receive quality treatment and avoid long-term complications and disabilities.

Most intense STH infections are found in children aged 5 to 15 years very year.You can stop this injustice!

Give a Child a Healthy Start

  • Protect 15 children against hookworm, roundworm and whipworm for just $50
  • Save kids from blindness with essential vitamin A supplements
  • Train healthcare workers to reach even more pre-school kids and families
  • Give kids a fair chance at life
give kids a good start
The following worms are the worst offenders and have infected over a billion people worldwide. 


  • About 60,000 people die from Roundworm a year, most of them children. 
  • Roundworms are difficult to prevent if you live in an endemic area, such as in warm, tropical regions. People have to worry about the food they eat, the water they drink, and even when they go outside to work or play because of inadequate sanitation in their environment.
  • Roundworms are more common in countries where people live in poverty, there is inadequate disposal of human feces, and when crops are fertilized with human feces.
  • When children living in poverty play in infected soil, or eat with their hands before they are cleaned properly, the eggs hatch in their stomachs and grow into treacherous roundworms which leach nutrition from their body. These children can begin to experience fatigue, weight loss, and abdominal pain. With severe infections, their learning capabilities are impaired and their health suffers.


  • Similar to roundworms, hookworms are transmitted through contaminated soil. When hookworm eggs enter the body, they hatch into worms and feed on a person’s nutrients. Although they are easily curable with a 3-day drug treatment plan, people continue to suffer through these infections.
  • A person with a severe hookworm infection has stomach pains, experiences weight loss, and develops anemia. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. The infestation of worms takes the already limited nutrients that they have, like iron and protein, and inhibits their ability to grow and develop.
  • Infected adults can find it hard to concentrate at work because of their fatigue. Children don’t have the energy to go to school or play, and won’t be able to achieve their full potential. It’s important that infections are treated right away, and even better if they can be prevented.
  • Hookworm infections are treated with drugs generously donated by pharmaceutical companies, and are incredibly effective. There are currently mass drug administration programs in endemic regions, where these drugs are given to a large group of people in countries to prevent infections and treat people who are already infected. 


  • An adult whipworm can grow to 50 cm, about the length of your elbow to your fingertips! These worms live in the human intestines, causing infected people chronic pain.
  • Often people contract whipworm through eating unwashed fruits and vegetables. In tropical countries endemic for whipworm, water is scarce. People cannot afford to spend their precious water supply to wash food thoroughly. Once infected, adult worms can lay up to 20,000 eggs a day which makes it nearly impossible to avoid infection.