Infections with soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are among the commonest infections in Lao PDR. Recent investigation in this country showed that intestinal helminths currently infect the majority of school-aged children. The Lao Government has addressed the problem by organizing regular anthelminthic chemotherapy with mebendazole 500 mg for school and preschool children in conjunction with health education activities incorporated into the national school curriculum. The school deworming campaign in Lao PDR reached a national coverage rate of 95% at a cost of US$0.124/head for two rounds of deworming per year. The programme operates under the umbrella of the national school health programme. After 1 year (two rounds of deworming) the intervention reduced the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides from 60% to 20% and of Trichuris trichiura from 42% to 31%. Although infection was not eliminated by the deworming interventions, over 90% of those children who remain infected had a 'light' infection. The virtual absence of high and moderate intensity infection demonstrates the effectiveness of periodical deworming in reducing morbidity due to STHs. We expect that additional rounds of deworming will further reduce the STH prevalence in Lao PDR. (c) 2008 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.