Elijah Songok of the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kenya will design and test a fortified school meal product with deworming properties for treating soil transmitted helminths (parasitic worms) among schoolchildren in developing countries. Schoolchildren are most at risk of infection-associated morbidities such as stunting and chronic dysentery. However, current mass drug administration strategies are associated with the development of drug resistance, and may not be sustainable long term. They will fortify cornflour with seed extracts of the tropical fruit, Carica papaya (pawpaw), which can significantly increase clearance of the parasite, and use it to make porridge, which is cheap and a common school meal snack in developing countries. They will test its efficacy in a randomized pilot study in six elementary schools in rural Kenya.
More information about New Approaches in Model Systems, Diagnostics, and Drugs for Specific Neglected Tropical Diseases (Round 10)