Community-based approach to schistosomiasis control

Acta Trop. 1996 Apr;61(2):107-19. doi: 10.1016/0001-706x(95)00118-x.


With few exceptions, efforts to control schistosomiasis have relied upon ongoing community cooperation with "outsiders' rather than creating within the community the capacity and means for carrying out ongoing disease control measures with minimal external support. Offered as a useful model is a program in Kaele subdivision, Extreme North Province, Cameroon designed to establish and integrate within the primary health care (PHC) system the control of urinary schistosomiasis, hyperendemic in the region. At the community level, and with minimal dependence upon external resources, culturally appropriate and effective health education was instituted, the capacity to diagnose and treat schistosomiasis was created, diagnosis and drug therapy (praziquantel) was made available conveniently and at low cost, and, on a very limited basis, snails were controlled. Efforts were made to build upon and strengthen existing community structures and institutions rather than create new ones. The impact of the interventions was measured in terms of changes in knowledge and behavior, prevalence and intensity of infection, utilization of health services, and the ability to finance the control activities within the context of a generalized cost recovery system. Program successes and failures are discussed, as well as lessons learned and their implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cameroon
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community Participation*
  • Disease Vectors
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs*
  • Schistosomiasis / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis / drug therapy
  • Schistosomiasis / economics
  • Schistosomiasis / prevention & control*
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / drug therapy
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / economics
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / prevention & control*
  • Snails