Enhancing schistosomiasis control strategy for zimbabwe: building on past experiences

J Parasitol Res. 2012:2012:353768. doi: 10.1155/2012/353768. Epub 2012 May 8.


Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni are prevalent in Zimbabwe to levels that make schistosomiasis a public health problem. Following three national surveys to map the disease prevalence, a national policy on control of schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths is being developed. This paper reviews the experiences that Zimbabwe has in the area of schistosomiasis control with a view to influence policy. A case study approach to highlight key experiences and outcomes was adopted. The benefits derived from intersectoral collaboration that led to the development of a model irrigation scheme that incorporates schistosomiasis control measures are highlighted. Similarly, the benefits of using plant molluscicides and fish and duck biological agents (Sargochromis codringtonii and Cairina moschata) are highlighted. Emphasis was also placed on the importance of utilizing locally developed water and sanitation technologies and the critical human resource base in the area of schistosomiasis developed over years. After synthesis of the case studies presented, it was concluded that while there is a need to follow the WHO recommended guidelines for schistosomiasis control it is important to develop a control strategy that is informed by work already done in the country. The importance of having a policy and local guidelines for schistosomiasis control is emphasized.