Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic, parasitic disease caused by blood flukes (trematode worms) of the genus Schistosoma. At least 258 million people required treatment in 2014. Treatment, which should be repeated over a number of years, will reduce and prevent morbidity. The WHO strategy for schistosomiasis control focuses on reducing disease through periodic, targeted treatment with praziquantel. This involves regular treatment of all who are at-risk.
Fact 1: More people need treatment for schistosomiasis
At least 258 million people are estimated to have required treatment for schistosomiasis in 2014. While the actual reported number of people treated in 2014 was only 61.6 million.
Fact 2: Infection occurs from exposure to infested freshwater
People can become infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational and recreational activities which expose them to infested freshwater sources.
Fact 10: WHO advocates for increased access to praziquantel and resources for implementation
WHO has catalysed collaboration between ministries of health, development agencies, the pharmaceutical sector, non-profit organizations and communities to provide resources and medicines for schistosomiasis control. Other methods of schistosomiasis control include wider access to safe water, improved sanitation, hygiene education and snail control.