Neglected tropical diseases in the Philippines

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases (STH)

Also known as intestinal worm infections, this disease is most common among school-age children. Albendazole or Mebendazole is given to dewormed children ages 1-12 years old. The whole Philippine archipelago is endemic of STH. The common intestinal parasites among Filipinos are ascaris, hookworm, whip worm and trichuris. 25 million Filipinos are at risk of the disease.

Aside from the mass treatment during Mass Drug Administrations (MDAs), good hygiene, water and sanitation are the major preventive activities for the control of STH.

Schistosomiasis affects 1230 barangays (villages) of 190 municipalities (towns) in 28 endemic provinces in 12 regions in the country. Approximately 12million are at risk and 2.5 million are directly exposed to the disease. It is also known to claim 1.75 lives every 100 individuals afflicted with the disease, if left untreated. Schistosomiasis is a snail and water-borne disease that is endemic in tropical like and sub-tropical regions of the world where climate and rain-fall create favorable conditions for the spread of the snail intermediate hosts. Schistosoma japonicum is the specie of the snail host that is the present in the Philippines.

Schsitosomiasis is not limited to man as it likewise affects animals (mammals) which act as reservoir host that contribute 25% of the disease transmission.