An all-encompassing force for healthy child development
To ensure that children are healthy and developing to their full potential, we must involve and work through collaborators on multiple fronts.
The wide-ranging efforts of Children Without Worms all center on controlling the global burden of STH, caused by a group of intestinal parasites that includes roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworms (Trichuris trichuria) and hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus). STH spreads when people come into contact with soil that has been contaminated by infected individuals—through dirty hands—or in the case of hookworms, when larvae penetrate the skin.
Drug donation assistance
The original mandate for CWW was to oversee the donation of Vermox™ (mebendazole) in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, helping doses reach school-age populations in countries where STH was prevalent. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now responsible for the donation of both albendazole from GlaxoSmithKline and Vermox from Johnson & Johnson. CWW continues to be involved by providing logistical assistance to WHO and our partners—helping these donated drugs reach populations in need.
CWW's comprehensive technical knowledge has been and will continue to be a valuable asset in combating STH. In addition, we remain committed to research that will continue to deepen our understanding of STH and how to control it effectively. We freely share what we have learned with our partners while remaining open to additional partnership efforts that will deepen our understanding.
Our technical work is guided by the STH Advisory Committee, an independent group of experts with a wealth of experience in parasitology, epidemiology, child health and education, and international public health. CWW serves as the secretariat for The STH Advisory Committee, which in turn advises CWW, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson on strategic and technical components of STH treatment and prevention, including safe, rational, and effective administration of the donated albendazole and Vermox, and strategies for achieving positive impact and promoting program sustainability. The Advisory Committee also provides STH-related technical and scientific advice to the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group’s (STAG) working group on monitoring and evaluation, and advises the NTD Support Center on operational research priorities for STH control as part of its “Filling the Gaps” research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Information dissemination and sharing best practices
CWW serves as a repository of STH information and best practices for use in the field as well as in the laboratory. In order to do this, we are building online tools to organize and share information about STH. Together with partners, we are working to identify knowledge management priorities that will spark synergy across the STH community. Our new website, coming in fall 2014, will provide the initial offering of these resources.
Relationships and networking
As a partnering organization with an expanded mandate, we help connect partners with each other. We do this through day-to-day communications and through more formalized efforts, such as workshops and conferences. Controlling STH will require coordinated efforts in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), agriculture, nutrition, and education, in addition to treatment. Making that happen will require many partners working together in various ways. Varied efforts, including hygiene education in Nicaragua, Cambodia and Cameroon, and the creation of country-specific manuals for WASH implementers to learn about STH, are already underway. We are committed to building on past efforts in a strategic way.