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Acta Trop. 2002 May;82(2):139-46.

The global epidemiological situation of schistosomiasis and new approaches to control and research.

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Parasitic Diseases and Vector Control, Communicable Diseases Control, Prevention and Eradication, World Health Organization, CH-1211 27, Geneva, Switzerland.


While the distribution of schistosomiasis has changed over the last 50 years and there have been successful control programmes, the number of people estimated to be infected or at risk of infection has not been reduced. Today, 85% of the number of infected people are estimated to be on the African continent where few control efforts are made. In terms of disease burden, there is therefore a growing discrepancy between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. WHO has now developed a dual strategy for the control of schistosomiasis: a strategy for morbidity control adapted to the public health context in high burden areas, and a strategy to consolidate control in areas where a low endemic level has been reached and elimination may be feasible. Related to this new vision, some research needs are pointed out.

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