Based on the identification of satellite-derived environmental and soil variables, and socioeconomic variables provided by INDEC, Argentine researchers determined the areas of greatest risk for the presence of these infections.
Given the lack of information on the prevalence of geohelminths (a group of intestinal parasites) in Argentina, researchers from CONICET, Mundo Sano, CONAE, Gulich Institute, and National University of Córdoba generated a risk map for guiding the identification of survey areas, generating reference data, detecting hotspots of infection, planning and prioritizing areas for control interventions and, eventually, conducting post-implementation surveillance activities.
Geohelminths are one of the “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs), which are so called due to their association with social determinants of health, i.e., inadequate access to services such as health, education, clean water, and basic sanitation, and because they do not receive sufficient attention, although they can be treated and cured.
In Argentina, the presence of these parasites has been detected through some specific studies conducted in localities of 11 of the 23 provinces of the country. In this study, the experts analysed the risk of infection in 3,526 cities of Argentina corresponding to points of census cities provided by INDEC.
The resulting map – the first risk map for geohelminthiasis generated specifically for Argentina and one of the few maps created for this parasite group at the national level – showed that half of the Argentine provinces, specifically from the central and northern areas, have localities with conditions suitable for the development of these parasites.