Parasitic worms: Hidden global health threat
With close to one third of the world's population infected with parasitic worms, MUHC researcher Dr. Theresa Gyorkos is thinking big when it comes to finding a solution to this global public health challenge. As part of an international research and policy team, she is contributing to the soon-to-be-released WHO Strategic Plan to control intestinal worm infections in more than 100 countries. Dr. Gyorkos received the Canadian Public Health Association's (CPHA) 2011 International Award for her contributions to global public health at the CPHA annual conference this week in Montreal.
"I am very proud to have both my research and mentoring contributions recognized by the CPHA," says Dr. Gyorkos, a researcher in Clinical Epidemiology at the Research Institute of the MUHC and a professor in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. "The contributions made by my research team in Canada and with partners in other countries, on prevention and control of soil-transmitted helminth infections, aims to improve the lives of many people around the world."
Soil-transmitted helminths commonly known as intestinal worms which include roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms, enter the human body in a number of ways, such as through fecally contaminated food, drinking water, fingers and objects, and even walking on soil contaminated by the invisible parasite eggs. Once inside the body, the worms feed off their host and reproduce prolifically.
"Parasitic worm infections exacerbate co-existing malnutrition and weaken the immune system causing fatigue and anemia, impairing cognition, and reducing productivity throughout the lifespan" says Dr. Gyorkos. "Children are particularly vulnerable to parasitic worm infections, affecting their nutrition, education, and ultimately, their economic productivity as adults."
Most of the estimated two billion people afflicted with parasitic worms live in developing countries where clean drinking water and sanitation systems are inadequate. Dr. Gyorkos's research program, which is primarily based in Peru, focuses specifically on the three population groups at highest risk of worm-attributable morbidity: school-age children, preschool-age children and pregnant women.
"The challenge is getting governments to establish plans of action and health policy to ensure that anthelmintic drugs that are now free of charge and administered in a single dose can be distributed in as effective and efficient a way as possible in their country," says Dr. Gyorkos. "We are working with the teachers, the principals and parents to enhance health education curricula and to get these drugs administered in schools so we can reach the greatest number of children."
The CPHA International Public Health Award recognizes the individuals or organizations that have made a contribution to promoting public health in resource-poor societies through the development of healthy public policy, strengthening of primary health care services, promotion of the value of equity in access to health-promoting environments, and/or the enhancement of community participation.
Provided by McGill University Health Centre
- Mapping the world of worm infections Aug 17, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Can parasites cause anemia and undernutrition in Northern Rwanda? Sep 15, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Tribendimidine shows promise against intestinal worms Oct 15, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Parasitic worm infections increase susceptibility to AIDS viruses Jul 23, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Exposure to worm infection in the womb may protect against eczema, study suggests Jan 28, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 12 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
12 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Kate O'Reilly's spring allergy survival kit includes the usual stuff - nasal sprays, allergy pills and a box of tissues. This season, she's added a new weapon to her line of defense: an app on her smartphone.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0