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Effect on weight gain of routinely giving albendazole to preschool children during child health days in Uganda: cluster randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:122
  1. Harold Alderman, lead human development economist (halderman{at},
  2. Joseph Konde-Lule, professor of epidemiology2,
  3. Isaac Sebuliba, research fellow2,
  4. Donald Bundy, lead specialist1,
  5. Andrew Hall, partnership for child development3
  1. 1 World Bank, Washington DC 20433, USA,
  2. 2 Institute of Public Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda,
  3. 3 Centre for Public Health Nutrition, School of Integrated Health, University of Westminster, London W1W 6UW
  1. Correspondence to: H Alderman
  • Accepted 24 March 2006


Objective To estimate the effectiveness of delivering an anthelmintic through a community child health programme on the weight gain of preschool children in Uganda.

Design Cluster randomised controlled trial.

Setting Eastern Uganda.

Participants 48 parishes participating in a new programme for child health: 24 offered children an additional service of anthelmintic treatment. The outcome is based on measurements from 27 995 children.

Intervention Treatment of children aged between 1 and 7 years with 400 mg albendazole added to standard services offered during child health days over a three year period.

Main outcome measure Weight gain.

Results The provision of periodic anthelmintic treatment as a part of child health services in Uganda resulted in an increase in weight gain of about 10% (166 g per child per year, 95% confidence interval 16 to 316) above expected weight gain when treatments were given twice a year, and an increase of 5% when the treatment was given annually.

Conclusion Deworming of preschool children in Uganda as part of regularly scheduled health services seems practical and associated with increased weight gain.


  • Embedded ImageAdditional information on statistical analysis is on bmj.comWe thank Shally Awasthi and Lani Stephenson for comments on an earlier draft.

  • Contributors HA, JK-L, DB, and AH conceived and designed the study and drafted the manuscript. HA and IS were involved in the data analysis. HA is guarantor.

  • Funding The research was funded by the nutrition and early child development project, government of Uganda, which contracted the Institute of Public Health and the research committee of the World Bank. The World Bank employs HA and DB and contracted AH.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethical approval This study was approved by the ethics review committee of the Institute of Public Health and conforms to human study protocols for the government of Uganda.

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