WHO estimates that more than 4 million children in the European Region need preventive chemotherapy. The true picture is not known, but suspected to be worse than estimated.
Countries in central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkan are considered to have the highest burden of soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH) in the Region. Recent surveys have demonstrated that the proportion of children infected with STH ranges from 15% to 70% in some countries.
WHO is assisting some countries in central Asia and the Caucasus, which have also benefited from donations of antihelminthic medication from the pharmaceutical industry. In 2012 WHO provided albendazole to Azerbaijan (798 100 tablets of 400 mg) and Tajikistan (4 578 996 tablets) to treat pre-school and school-age children and women of childbearing age.
In recent years, the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, in close cooperation with WHO/Europe, supported country-level assessments and national deworming campaigns in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
In addition, WHO published a Russian translation of “Helminth control in school-age children: a guide for managers of control programmes”, and is continuing to make assessments of country-level problems and needs related to STH in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Moldova and Romania.