The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) was established in December 2008 to answer strategic questions about schistosomiasis control and elimination. SCORE is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through a five-year grant to the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF).
Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is caused by worms that live in the blood vessels, is found predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical climates, especially Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, and infects approximately 200 million people worldwide. SCORE's focus is on the two major disease-causing schistosomes in Africa, South America, and the Middle East - Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium.
SCORE's goal is to find answers that will help current and future schistosomiasis control program managers to do the job better. This includes learning what approaches to controlling and eliminating schistosomiasis work best and developing and evaluating new tools for program managers to use. Our vision is that our work will inform efforts to gain control of schistosomiasis in high-prevalence areas, sustain control and move towards elimination in areas of moderate prevalence, and ultimately eliminate schistosomiasis. SCORE does this by funding investigators from around the world to conduct the needed research and evaluation activities.
The terms of the grant to UGARF preclude funding research on S. japonicum, vaccines, or drug discovery. The use of the funds for capacity development as such is also precluded, unless this is essential for conducting SCORE activities.
The SCORE Secretariat is located on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA, within the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD), but the program involves investigators from around the globe.