DAHW German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association
Towards sustainability of Schistosomiasis Control: improving health of lake shore communities and engaging civil society structures, educational and health facilities in the hyper-endemic area of Mwanza, Tanzania
Schistosomiasis is among the neglected tropical diseases which are highly endemic in Tanzania, especially along and on the Island of Lake Victoria, in northwestern region. After Nigeria, Tanzania is second country in sub-Saharan Africa for having the highest prevalence of schistosomiasis infection and it is estimated that 52% of approximately 50 million people are living with the disease. Current control strategies in Tanzania focus on mass drug administration (MDA) of Praziquantel (PZQ) mainly in school children. Despite of these efforts, the burden of disease remains high, showing local infection rates of up to 97% among school children. School- based MDA alone is unlikely to have a lasting effect on transmission. Awareness creation and engagement across sectors and of civil society (cooperatives, community councils) structures will help to achieve more sustainable results. The objective of this project is to engage affected communities and civil society structures representing risk population (cooperatives, beach management units) to create awareness through e.g. CHAST (children’s hygiene and sanitation training), participation in control activities and improved health seeking behaviors. Secondarily, the study aims to institutionalize measures for early diagnosis and treatment in health facilities of Nyamagana and Ilemela district, along the Lake Victoria, northwestern Tanzania.