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Design Thinking for Soil-Transmitted Helminths Prevention

Updated: Jan 4



Introduction

Helminthic parasites affect more than one third of the world’s population and cause substantial disease and disability. This neglected disease involves human, animal and environmental health as a biology of the disease. Because of the role of contaminated soil in their transmission, infections with Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis, and hookworm (Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus) are, in public health terms, known as soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH). STH infections generally infect populations of school-age and pre-school children. Both of these population groups are very susceptible to worm infections, which are often not detected. STH infections typically have a very low mortality rate but cause morbidity that can affect a person’s quality of life for a long time. To control the diseases, World Health Organization (WHO) road map by the year 2021-2030 was proposed to manage the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including STH diseases, was on the list as well. The objectives of this project were 1) to set up a soil-transmitted helminth stakeholder meeting and implement the design thinking concept and process to the stakeholders for the pre-prototype development and 2) to develop at least one useable prototype regarding soil-transmitted helminth prevention by design thinking process.


Methods

In this project, the stakeholders were invited as this disease is a complicated problem so we need multidisciplinary team to solve the problem. The representatives of the Departments of Helminthology and Social and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Kasetsart University, Tha Song Yang district public health (Tak province), sub-district health promoting hospital, sub-district administrative organization, village health volunteers, head of the community, and primary-school teachers were invited to join this workshop. A workshop on design thinking for the prevention of soil-transmitted helminth infection was held on November 3-4, 2021 at the Tha Song Yang Public Health Office. Based on the One Health approach, information on soil-transmitted helminths, and design thinking principles and activities.