PUBLIC HEALTH AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES
Jongsuksuntigel et al. (1998), Liver Flukes and Malignancy, Naz'mov
The Faculty of Tropical Medicine of Mahidol University conducts the
most notable Public Health strategy to prevent Opisthorchiasis. This
national liver fluke control program is being operated in some central
provinces, and all northeastern and northern provinces of Thailand.
This program for control is comprised of three aproaches:
1. Stool examination and treatment of positive cases with praziquantel
for eliminating human host reservoir
2. Health education for a promotion of cooked fish consumption for preventing
3. Improvement of hygienic defecation for transmission interruption.
PREVENTION OF OPISTHORCHIASIS FOCUSES ON INTERRUPTING ITS LIFECYCLE
Prevention involves preventing fecal parasites from reaching the water
supplies, decreasing snail hosts, and promoting adequate cooking methods
for the second intermediate host fish.
Much of this involves educating the local people about the risks associated
with liver fluke infection and what they can do to minimize them.
In Thailand, many indigenous people are constructing latrines, which
greatly decreases the risk of fecal matter infected with eggs contaminating
the water supply.
Elimination the first intermediate host, the snail, cannot be accomplished,
as the chemicals required to kill the snails would harm the fish that
people consume. Methods in Europe that use fast electron radiation to
decontaminate caught fish are being implemented.
To simply eliminate the consumption of raw or improperly cooked fish
would prevent human infection. Raw fish cuisine remains very pervasive
in Asian cultures and it is unlikely that the tradition of eating raw
fish will cease. People must be educated that though extremely effective
treatment to eliminate the parasites exists, the risk of liver cancer
increases by simply becoming infected with Opisthorchiasis.