Association between water and sanitation and soil-transmitted helminthiases: Analysis of the Brazilian National Survey of Prevalence (2011–2015)

K.I.H. Mingoti Poague*, Sueli Mingoti, Léo Heller

*Corresponding author for this work

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6 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Most of the studies conducted in Brazil assessing the relationship between water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, have focused on cases, reflecting the reality of small areas and not of a countrywide situation. In order to fill this gap, the current paper presents an epidemiological study exploring the association between water and sanitation and STHs prevalence in students from 7 to 17 years old, in all 27 Brazilian Federation Units.
Three ecological studies were carried out considering the prevalence of ascariasis, trichuriasis, and hookworm as outcome variables. The sample consisted of 197,567 students aged 7–17 years old living in 521 Brazilian municipalities. Data were retrieved from the National Survey on the Prevalence of Schistosomiasis mansoni and Soil-transmitted helminth infections (2011–2015). The Generalized Linear Model with the negative binomial distribution was used to evaluate the statistical association between outcomes and explanatory variables. Univariate and Multivariate analyses were conducted with 25 and 5 % significance levels, respectively. Data were aggregated considering municipalities as the geographical unit for analysis.
Protective association was found between access to filtered water and adequate sanitation in schools with ascariasis (RR 0.989, CI 95 % 0.983–0.996; RR 0.988, CI 95 % 0.977–0.998), access to filtered water in schools with trichuriasis (RR 0.986, CI 95 % 0.979–0.993) and adequate sanitation at home with hookworm ((RR 0.989, CI 95 % 0.982–0.996). The percentage of population served with Bolsa Família Program, used as a proxy for poverty, was the only significant variable common to all models.
Our findings support that WASH, both in schools and homes, are essential to schoolchildren health with regard to STHs. However, sanitary interventions will not be fully effective in preventing STH infections without promoting access to quality public services, particularly for people living in poverty, the most vulnerable group.
Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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