Experiences with the control of schistosomiasis mansoni in two foci in Central Africa

B Gryseels, AM Polderman, D Engels

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Experiences with population-based chemotherapy and other methods for the control of schistosomiasis mansoni in two subsaharan foci are described. In the forest area of Maniema (Zaire), intense transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, high prevalences and intensities of infection, and important morbidity have been documented. Taking into account the limited financial means and the poor logistic conditions, the control strategy has been based mainly on targeted chemotherapy of heavily infected people (> 600 epg). After ten years of intervention, prevalences and intensities have hardly been affected, but the initial severe hepatosplenic morbidity has almost disappeared. In Burundi, a national research and control programme has been initiated in 1982. Prevalences, intensities and morbidity were moderate, transmission was focal and erratic in time and space. A more structural control strategy was developed, based on screening and selective therapy, health education, sanitation and domestic water supply. Prevalences and intensities have been considerably reduced, though the results show focal and unpredictable variations. Transmission and reinfection were not significantly affected by chemotherapy alone, and the eventual outcome of repeated selective treatment appears to be limited by the sensitivity of the screening method. Intestinal morbidity was strongly reduced by community-based selective treatment, but hepatosplenic enlargement was hardly affected; this is possibly due to the confounding impact of increasing malaria morbidity. The experiences show the importance of local structures and conditions for the development of an adapted control strategy. It is further concluded that population-based chemotherapy is a highly valid tool for the rapid control of morbidity, but should in most operational conditions not be considered as a tool for transmission control. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
JournalMemorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Issue numberSuppl.4
Pages (from-to)187-194
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Helminthic diseases
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Control
  • Programs
  • Burundi
  • Congo-Kinshasa
  • Maniema
  • Africa-Central


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences with the control of schistosomiasis mansoni in two foci in Central Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this