“We didn’t know he had blood in his urine,” Aminata says. It was only when Sightsavers-supported health workers tested Aruna at his school that his mother and father found out he had schistosomiasis.
The disease is common in sub-Saharan Africa, in poorer communities that lack access to clean drinking water or good sanitation. Parasites spread the infection by penetrating a person’s skin during contact with infested water.
“We were very afraid when we heard this news. We are old now – we have never contracted this disease so we were surprised to hear our son was infected.”
To treat children like Aruna, Sightsavers distributes anti-worming medication in communities and schools with the support of charity evaluator GiveWell. Teachers are trained to give out the medication, to make sure all children are treated.
“We knew through Aruna when he came back from school that they were given drugs. It was a great happiness for us to know that our son was given the drug to be cured of this disease.”