In 1962, Norman Stoll, the distinguished Rockefeller Institute scientist who helped to establish human parasitology research in North America, described the unique health impact of hookworm as follows :
As it was when I first saw it, so it is now, one of the most evil of infections. Not with dramatic pathology as are filariasis, or schistosomiasis, but with damage silent and insidious. Now that malaria is being pushed back hookworm remains the great infection of mankind. In my view it outranks all other worm infections of man combined…in its production, frequently unrealized, of human misery, debility, and inefficiency in the tropics.
Like many other global disease experts who witnessed dramatic reductions in malaria prevalence as a result of DDT spraying during the late 1950s , Stoll did not anticipate malaria's imminent re-emergence in India. However, he articulated with eloquence the magnitude of the disease burden resulting from hookworm infection. He further offered the silent and insidious character of hookworm as a partial explanation for its neglect by the global medical community.
This neglect subsequently intensified during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with the omission of hookworm from the list of diseases covered by the World Health Organization's Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical
Hookworm has proven to be extremely difficult to eliminate or eradicate in areas of poverty and poor sanitation.
Diseases, as well as from other global health initiatives. Over the last ten years, however, there has been increasing recognition of the global health importance of hookworm. Today, new international efforts to control the morbidity of hookworm and other soil-transmitted helminth infections are in progress (www.who.int/wormcontrol).