KEY FACTS

Schistosmiasis

  • Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease caused by parasitic worms.

  • At least 243 million people required treatment for schistosomiasis in 2011.

  • The number of people reported to have been treated for schistosomiasis in 2011 was 28.1 million.

  • People are at risk of infection due to agricultural, domestic and recreational activities which expose them to infested water.

  • Lack of hygiene and play habits make children especially vulnerable to infection.

  • Clean drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education would reduce infective water contact and the contamination of water sources.

  • Schistosomiasis control focuses on reducing disease through periodic, large-scale population treatment with praziquantel.

Dracunculiasis

  • Dracunculiasis is a crippling parasitic disease on verge of eradication, with only 542 cases reported in 2012.

  • The disease is transmitted exclusively when people who have little or no access to safe-drinking water supply swallow water contaminated with parasite-infected water-fleas (cyclops).

  • Of the 20 countries that were endemic in the mid 1980s, only 4 (all on the African continent) reported cases in 2012.

  • Most cases (96%) occured in South Sudan.

  • From the time infection occurs, it takes between 10-14 months for the cycle to complete until a mature worm emerges from the body. (http://www.who.int)

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