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Parasitology. 2009 Nov;136(13):1731-7. doi: 10.1017/S0031182009990369. Epub 2009 Jul 27.

Present and future schistosomiasis control activities with support from the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative in West Africa.

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  • 1Programme National de Lutte contre la Bilharziose et les Géohelminthes, Ministère de la Santé Publique, 2648 Bd du Zarmaganda, B.P. 13724, Niamey, Niger.


Since 2004 the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have implemented national schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis control programmes with financial and technical support from the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI). In the first three years of the control programmes, nearly 13.5 million doses of praziquantel and albendazole have been administered against schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis with coverage rates varying between 67.0% and 93.9%. These treatments have resulted in a reduction of the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma infection in the sentinel cohorts that were set up to monitor and evaluate the national control programmes. The challenges currently faced by these national control programmes are the ability to maintain the reduction in morbidity achieved thus far due to the mass treatment campaigns and ensuring sustainability. For reinforcement of surveillance, the establishment of a geographical information system is suggested in order to contribute towards enhanced sustainability of these programmes. Our new working hypothesis is that targeted control accompanied by periodic mass treatment campaigns (every two to three years) can contribute to maintaining the low levels of morbidity achieved thus far. The implementation of integrated neglected tropical disease control programmes in these countries will provide means to ensure the financial sustainability of control activities for the years to come.

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