Infectious disease and the Unesco basic education initiative.


As part of a Basic Education for All campaign, Unesco is exploring ways to improve health and nutrition in school-age children in order to help them take advantage of the only schooling they may ever receive. At the first international Unesco working meeting on health, nutrition and school performance, intestinal helminths were identified as more appropriate immediate targets than malaria and other infectious diseases. Prevalence and intensity of infection in school-age children, the schools as vehicles of intervention, and the availability of interventions contributed to this choice. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of the effects of infectious diseases in schoolchildren. Through the improvement of understanding in this area, the parasitology community may be able to contribute to the Unesco project.

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