Timeline of deworming

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This is a timeline of deworming, and specifically mass deworming.

Big picture[edit]

Time period Key developments
Late 17th century Birth of modern helminthology as European physicians first detail anatomy of parasitic worms.
1851–1915 Understanding of and interest in schistosomiasis deepens as more people come in contact with the disease.
1948–present Following World War II, the World Health Organization "has been the principal body concerned with the international support of research and control programmes" of schistosomiasis.[1]: 266  However, despite this and the implementation of programs, prevalence of schistosomiasis increases in many areas.[1]: 262 
1949–1997 Both Japan and South Korea successfully implement national programs to essentially eliminate soil-transmitted helminthiasis.
2001–present The World Health Assembly declares deworming as a focus. Various deworming organizations form.

Full timeline[edit]

Year Event type Event Disease name Geographic location
16th century BC Schistosome parasites thought to first evolve in the Great Lakes of East Africa around this period.[1] Schistosomiasis Africa
16th century BC Guinea Worm is described in several ancient Egyptian texts, and is thought to be common in the area[2] Dracunculiasis Egypt
1st Century – 7th Century Discovery Roman and Byzantine physicians are familiar with human roundworms and tapeworms and the infections that they cause.[3] Roundworm, tapeworm Roman Empire
1683-1684 Discovery Birth of modern helminthology. Detailed anatomy of the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) is described, first by English physician Edward Tyson (1683), and shortly afterward by the Italian Francesco Redi (1684).[3] Roundworm England, Italy
1799–1801 Crisis Napoleon's soldiers almost certainly suffer from haematuria caused by schistosomiasis infection.[1] Schistosomiasis
1851 Discovery Theodor Bilharz discovers the parasite responsible for schistosomiasis.[1] Schistosomiasis
1882 Publication First mention of schistosomiasis in The Lancet.[1] Schistosomiasis
1883 Interest in schistosomiasis heightens in England (and Europe more generally) due to more frequent encounter with the disease following English occupation of Egypt.[1] Schistosomiasis England, Egypt
1893–1918 Program launch Four commissions designed to understand schistosomiasis are sent to North Africa.[1] Schistosomiasis Africa
1898 Discovery Scientist Arthur Looss discovers that hookworms enter the body by boring through the skin when he accidentally infects himself.[3] Hookworm
1909 Organization The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease (RSC) is founded. One of RSC's main goals is to eradicate hookworm disease in Southern United States.[4][5] The RSC is active from 1910–1914, and closes in 1915.[6] It is replaced by the International Health Division (IHD), another Rockefeller Foundation initiative, which tackled public health concerns on a global level.[7] Hookworm United States
1914–1934 Overdose of oil of chenopodium, administered as part of the Rockefeller hookworm eradication program, causes over 200 documented deaths. More than 80% of deaths occur in children under 12.[8] Hookworm
1915 Discovery Robert Thomson Leiper works out the life-cycle of schistosomiasis.[1] Schistosomiasis
1926–1931 Successful eradication Guinea Worm is eradicated in Uzbekistan through a series of health education and sanitation measures.[2] Dracunculiasis Uzbekistan
1927–1951 Attempts are made to kill the intermediate hosts for schistosomiasis (i.e. snails) using copper sulfate instead of sanitation and health education. The reasoning here is to prevent the schistosomiasis life-cycle from being completed. However it is unclear if these measures reduced the prevalence of schistosomiasis.[1] Schistosomiasis
1938 Schistosomiasis Commission proposed by Hilmy Bey; the League of Nations Health Committee suggests more research on the disease, but nothing is done due to the imminence of World War II (among other reasons).[1] Schistosomiasis
1939–1945 Crisis Allied soldiers affected by schistosomiasis in China, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. This brings the disease to international attention.[1] Schistosomiasis
1942 Program launch Schistosomiasis control program begins in Venezuela.[1] Schistosomiasis Venezuela
1947 Publication First assessment of the distribution of schistosomiasis in the world by Norman Stoll.[1] Schistosomiasis
1948 Program launch The first World Health Assembly decides to establish an "Expert Committee" to deal with schistosomiasis.[1] Schistosomiasis
1949 Program launch Volunteer organizations for deworming form in Tokyo and Osaka, which implement "biannual school-based mass screening and treatment".[6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis Japan
1955 Program launch Japan Association of Parasite Control (JAPC) forms. JAPC is a consolidation of several previous deworming groups that existed.[6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis Japan
1965–1995 Program launch Korea Association for Parasite Eradication models their deworming program (a "biannual school-based mass screening and treatment program") off Japanese programs.[6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis, hookworm, etc. South Korea
1971 Successful eradication Iran eliminates dracunculiasis.[2] Dracunculiasis Iran
mid-1980s Under Japan Association of Parasite Control, deworming efforts lead to "very minimal levels" of Ascaris.[6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis Japan
1986–present Organization The Carter Foundation begins a campaign to eradicate Guinea worm. The incidence of guinea worm infection declines sharply, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 22 reported cases in 2015.[9] Dracunculiasis
1997 The World Health Organization declares South Korea "essentially worm-free".[6] Soil-transmitted helminthiasis South Korea
2001 The World Health Assembly declares the goal of 75% of schoolchildren in endemic areas receiving deworming treatment.[5]: 2  Schistosomiasis, Soil-transmitted helminthiasis[10]
2002 Organization The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) established after being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[11] Since 2013 SCI has been a GiveWell top charity. Schistosomiasis
2007 Organization Deworm the World Initiative is founded.[12] Since 2014 Deworm the World Initiative has been a GiveWell top charity. Soil-transmitted helminthiasis
2012 Program launch Various organizations announce a coordinated effort to eliminate or control 10 neglected tropical diseases, including both schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis.[13] Schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis
2015 The "deworming debate" takes place starting in July on whether deworming is effective.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Sandbach, F. R. (July 1976). "The History of Schistosomiasis Research and Policy for Its Control". Med Hist. 20 (3): 259–75. doi:10.1017/s0025727300022663. PMC 1081781. PMID 792584.
  2. ^ a b c "Dracunculiasis: Historical background". World Health Organization. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Cox, F. E. G. (2002-10-01). "History of Human Parasitology". Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 15 (4): 595–612. doi:10.1128/CMR.15.4.595-612.2002. ISSN 0893-8512. PMC 126866. PMID 12364371.
  4. ^ "Rockefeller Sanitary Commission (RSC)". The Rockefeller Foundation. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Donald A.P. Bundy, Judd L. Walson, and Kristie L. Watkins (2013). "Worms, wisdom, and wealth: why deworming can make economic sense" (PDF). Retrieved April 16, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f "STH Elimination Strategy Support - Objective 1: Past STH Elimination Programs" (PDF). University of Washington Global Health START Program. February 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Center, Rockefeller Archive. "100 Years: The Rockefeller Foundation | International Health Division · Health". rockefeller100.org. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  8. ^ PALMER, STEVEN (2010-04-01). "Toward Responsibility in International Health: Death following Treatment in Rockefeller Hookworm Campaigns, 1914–1934". Medical History. 54 (2): 149–170. doi:10.1017/s0025727300000223. ISSN 0025-7273. PMC 2844286. PMID 20357984.
  9. ^ "Guinea Worm Eradication Program". www.cartercenter.org. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  10. ^ "WHA54.19 Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminth infections" (PDF). World Health Organization.
  11. ^ "About". Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  12. ^ "Deworm the World Initiative, led by Evidence Action". GiveWell. April 2016.
  13. ^ "Table of Commitments" (PDF). Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2012. Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  14. ^ "Timeline: the deworming debate". The Cochrane Collaboration. Retrieved April 23, 2016.