Attitudes towards helminthic infection in the Jirel population of eastern Nepal

S. Williams-Blangero, J. Subedi, R. P. Upadhayay, D. B. Manral, K. Khadka, S. Jirel, E. S. Robinson, J. Blangero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    Intestinal worm infections, including roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm, are major international health concerns, affecting approximately one fourth of the world's population. Many intervention schemes have been attempted to control these infections in heavily exposed populations, but success has been limited because individuals are readily reinfected upon renewed exposure. Few data are available concerning people's health beliefs about soil-transmitted helminthic infections in such populations. The purpose of this study was to assess health beliefs about common helminthiasis in a population experiencing moderate to high rates of infection. The focal population for the study was the Jirel population, a tribal group distributed across nine villages in the Jiri Region of Dolakha District, eastern Nepal. The results indicate that beliefs about the types, causes, and treatments of helminthic infections have been developed and reinforced by experience and empirical evidence. People's frequent inability to confirm the efficacy of drug therapy by observing worms in stools has led to dissatisfaction with biomedical approaches. Carefully planned education programs are required to alter prevailing attitudes and improve control of soil-transmitted helminthiasis in the region.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)371-379
    Number of pages9
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 1998


    • Health education
    • Helminthic control programs
    • Intestinal worms
    • Nepal

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • History and Philosophy of Science


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