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Where facts are sacred



DE-WORMING AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE: BUSIA, KENYA De-worming reduced serious worm infections by half amongst children in the treatment groups. Pupils that received treatment reported being sick significantly less often, had lower rates of severe anaemia, and showed substantial height gains, averaging 0. 5 centimetres. Impact on school attendance: De-worming increased school participation by at least 7 percentage points, which equates to a one-quarter reduction in school absenteeism. When younger children were de-wormed, they attended school 15 more days per year, while older children attended approximately 10 more school days per year. Treatment spillover: The entire community and those living up to 6 kilometres away from treatment schools benefited from "spillovers" of the de-worming treatment. Reductions in infection in non-treated children resulted in an additional 3 to 4 days of schooling per year.

In Randomised Control Trials (RCT), researchers administer an intervention on a randomly selected group and then compare the results with the situation before or with a 'control' group. Its proponents argue that it is essential for policy to become more evidencebased, and that RCTs test long-held, often faulty, assumptions. TOI-Crest brings you five Important RCTs.

Source: The Abdul Latif Jameel, Poverty Action Lab, MIT

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