Elimination of schistosomiasis

One of SCORE’s priorities is to understand the kinds of integrated strategies that are needed to eliminate schistosomiasis.

SCORE is supporting an operational research project in Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) in conjunction with the Zanzibar Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Programme and other partners. The goals of this project are:

  • To eliminate schistosomiasis as a public health problem on Unguja in three years and to interrupt transmission in five years,
  • To control schistosomiasis throughout Pemba (prevalence <10%) in three years and to eliminate it as a public health problem in five years, and
  • To learn what is effective and what are the costs, successful strategies, barriers, etc. associated with three (3) different interventions.

This project was implemented in 2011 within the context of ongoing national control and prevention efforts. These include the implementation of a 5-year national schistosomiasis control strategy by the Zanzibar NTD Programme, as well as contributions by many partners. A collaboration, called the Zanzibar Elimination of Schistosomiasis Transmission (ZEST), is committed to working together to achieve these common goals.

ZEST includes partners from the Zanzibar NTD Programme and other programmes of the Ministry of Health, the Zanzibar Ministry of Education, the Zanzibar Water Authority, the Public Health Laboratory Ivo de Carneri, the Natural History Museum, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the World Health Organization, and SCORE.

In addition to measuring rates of schistosomiasis in people, SCORE is supporting evaluation of snail infections and schistosome population genetics as part of this operational research.

SCORE has initiated several new efforts with the supplemental funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • SCORE sought to conduct a second large-scale elimination operational research project, focused on an area that has predominantly S. mansoni, to complement the work in Zanzibar, where S. haematobium is the only human schistosome species. As a first step, SCORE, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the END Fund, and the Ministries of Health of Burundi and Rwanda conducted national mapping of schistosomiasis prevalence in Burundi and Rwanda to determine if elimination would be possible. Due to political instability in the region the study was not able to move forward.
  • SCORE is conducting research on eliminating schistosomiasis in areas with seasonal transmission.
  • SCORE is supporting operational research on snail control.
  • SCORE conducted a Rapid Answers Project on use of niclosamide (RAP4), a review of the literature both about its impact and practical experience with using the chemical. See King and Bertsch and King, Sutherland, and Bertsch.