To stop the spread of infection, praziquantel tablets, donated by pharmaceutical group Merck Serono, are distributed to people at risk.
The medication is administered via teachers and volunteers known as community-directed distributors (CDDs), who work locally.
Schistosomiasis is often treated alongside other neglected tropical diseases such as intestinal worms and river blindness.
Our schistosomiasis treatment programmes specifically target school-age children and adults considered at risk, such as fishermen, living in endemic regions. In areas with very high rates of infection, entire communities may be treated through mass drug administration. Sightsavers and partners also encourage non-drug-based practices such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives.
In 2018, Sightsavers and partners provided more than 6.5 million treatments for schistosomiasis across Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Guinea. We also trained more than 218,000 local volunteers to distribute medication to treat a range of neglected tropical diseases, including schistosomiasis.