The Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) was established in December 2008 to answer strategic questions about schistosomiasis control and elimination. SCORE was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through a grant to the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF). SCORE activities were completed September 2020.
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 was on the two major disease-causing schistosomes in Africa, South America, and the Middle East –Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium.
SCORE’s goal was to find answers to help current and future schistosomiasis control program managers do the job better. This included learning what approaches to controlling and eliminating schistosomiasis work best and developing and evaluating new tools for program managers to use. Our vision was, and remains, 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 did this work by funding investigators from around the world to conduct the needed research and evaluation activities.
The terms of the grant to UGARF precluded funding research on S. japonicum, vaccines, or drug discovery. The use of the funds for capacity development as such was also precluded, unless determined essential for conducting SCORE activities.
The SCORE Secretariat was 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 involved investigators from around the globe. The SCORE Secretariat office was closed September 30, 2020 after all activities were completed.