About Pakistan Deworming Initiative


The Pakistan Deworming Initiative (PDI) was launched in 2018 based on the results from a nationwide Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) prevalence Survey conducted between 2016-2017 that showed that approximately 17 million school-aged children in 45 districts across Pakistan are at-risk of intestinal worm infections, and require annual treatment.

The PDI is a multi-sectoral program led by the Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Ministry Federal Education & Professional Trainings, and Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination in collaboration with provincial health, education, and planning & development departments. IRD Pakistan and Evidence Action are providing technical assistance to the government.

17 Million

Annual Targets
for Deworming

23+ Million

Treatments Delivered


Total At-Risk

Gilgit-Baltistan ICT A J & K KhyberPakhtunkhwa Balochistan Sindh Punjab

abc STH prevalence = or over 20%

abc STH prevalence under 20%

Between 2019-2022 over 23 million safe and free-of-cost deworming treatments have been delivered across Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Punjab, using schools as the primary delivery platform along with communities in some regions. PDI’s focus is to scale-up treatments to reach all at-risk school-aged children across seven provinces and territories identified in the Soil Transmitted Helminths Baseline Survey.

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Mission and Goals

PDI’s mission is to ensure that children in at-risk areas of Pakistan have improved health, increased access to education and improved livelihoods potential.
To realize this mission, PDI is focused on the following key goals, which are aligned with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2030 roadmap for neglected tropical diseases:

Control the morbidity associated with STH infections in school-aged children by achieving 100% geographical coverage and at least 75% therapeutic coverage.
Eliminate worms as a public health problem by ensuring prevalence of moderate to heavy intensity infection in all sentinel sites for STH is maintained below 2%.
Strengthen health systems and structures for sustainable deworming.

Implementation Approach

PDI is based on rigorous research, including research by Nobel Laureate Michael Kremer, which shows that mass deworming leads to significant improvements in nutrition, cognition, school participation, and future earnings at an average cost of less than 80 PKR ($0.50) per child per treatment.

PDI leverages the existing school infrastructure and network of trusted teachers across regions to provide safe and free deworming treatment to school-aged children. In addition, through effective community mobilization activities, out-of-school children can also be encouraged to come to the nearest schools to receive deworming treatment. In certain cases, additional delivery platforms, such as community health workers are also leveraged to deliver treatments to hard to reach children.

The implementation of PDI across all regions broadly consists of five key components based on global best practices for deworming programs.

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The stated mission of the Ministry is "To manage Pakistan's socio-economic development in a strategic and sustainable manner”. The key role of M/o PD&SI is to provide strategic oversight by chairing the National Steering & Coordination Committee for Pakistan Deworming Initiative. This Committee allows for inter-regional coordination, knowledge sharing, and mobilization of funds.
The stated mission of the Ministry is ““To develop human resources by ensuring equal access and educational excellence across Pakistan” The key role of M/o FE&PT is to lead the implementation of the Deworming Program in Islamabad Capital territory through Government Financing. In addition, provincial and regional education departments play a role similar to that of the Ministry of Federal Education in terms of leveraging their existing infrastructures to train school teachers to conduct deworming activities in their respective regions/provinces.
 width=The stated mission of the Ministry is that they are “committed to helping the people of Pakistan to maintain and improve their health and to make our population among the healthier in the region”. Their key role with Pakistan Deworming Initiative is to procure deworming medicine for Pakistan Deworming Initiative through WHO global donation program so that the deworming treatment in Pakistan can be done free-of-cost. Their secondary role, along with the role of regional health departments, is to leverage health facilities and staff to provide dedicated support in case of any potential adverse events during deworming activities.


Evidence Action scales evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty. It bridges the gap between research about what works and solutions for people in need, to effectively serve hundreds of millions of people in the world’s poorest places.
Leveraging over two decades of experience in strengthening health systems. IRD is providing technical guidance to the government of Pakistan to increase access to deworming treatments in vulnerable communities.