Author(s): Yandev Doowuese, V. N. Chigor, E. A. Eze, D. D. Akosu, A. U. Onwuka, C. N. Okorie
This paper reviews the causes, consequences and control measures of schsistosomiasis in Sub Sahara Africa. It is a worrisome parasitic disease caused by flukes (trematodes) of the genus Schistosoma. High prevalence rates exist in most part of Africa due to many associated factors. People become infected when larval forms of the parasite (released by freshwater snails) penetrate the skin during contact with infested water. Although it is classified under the neglected Tropical diseases, it has continued to result in life threatening complications and mortalities most especially as it affects body organs. Many factors that are associated with the disease have been discussed. So far, control programmes have proven effective despite the geometric increase in human population in Africa. Large scale treatments of population groups most especially in endemic regions have been carried out. The major set back in the treatment is lack of comprehensive data on the prevalence of schistosomiasis in many populations. In spite of this, World health Organisation has rolled out guidelines and mandates on the prevention and control of schistosomiasis in sub Saharan Africa and other places. Access to safe water, improved sanitation, hygiene education, and snail control are possible control measures reported so far in literatures. The future control measure of schistosomiasis is likely to be based on the discovery and adoption of cheap novel drugs, schistosomicides and vaccines to combat the worrisome infection in the sub Saharan Africa and other places in the Tropics.
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