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previous surveys have revealed that the South African population has moved towards a disease profile similar to Western countries, with increasing proportions of deaths attributed to chronic diseases of lifestyle. In particular, it is hypothesized that, first, intestinal parasite infections have a negative influence on the physical fitness, cognitive performance, nutritional status and psychosocial health of school-aged children in deprived urban South Africa. Second, the development of setting-specific health interventions can decrease the incidence of parasitic infections and insulin resistance and thereby the risk of developing non-communicable conditions later in life, such as diabetes. An in-depth epidemiological study on intestinal parasite infections in an impoverished part of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, as the here presented DASH study, will provide a unique opportunity for research on its impact on children’s physical fitness, cognitive performance and psychosocial health.
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The DASH team,
Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Basel, Switzerland
in April 2016