20 August 2015

Let's talk some more about the Worm Wars

A fierce debate broke out on social media when a re-analysis of a landmark study on deworming raised major questions about the original research. Researchers said a study from western Kenya demonstrating that giving children deworming medication improved school attendance had flaws that inflated the actual impact. But there were also concerns with the re-analysis itself and whether it made incorrect changes to reach such a conclusion.

Barbs were thrown by journalists, academics, aid workers, and others on blogs and Twitter. I've spent the past few weeks speaking with the people involved in the research and debate to try and understand what happened and what this means for mass deworming campaigns.

That story should publish next week. However, I emerged from my cave of research to chat with Mark Goldberg about the Worm Wars, as they were dubbed, on his Global Dispatches Podcast. It is not entirely new information for those who are already familiar with the discussions, but it touches on some of the important aspects that should interest those of you just learning about the debate.

Our conversation treads lightly on parts of the story. My written piece, due out next week for Humanosphere, will go much further into the debate and its implications going forward. Have a listen: