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Epidemiology and control of human schistosomiasis in Tanzania

Humphrey D Mazigo1234*, Fred Nuwaha2, Safari M Kinung’hi3, Domenica Morona1, Angela Pinot de Moira4, Shona Wilson4, Jorg Heukelbach5 and David W Dunne4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Parasitology and Entomology, School of Medicine, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania

2 Department of Environmental Health and Communicable Disease Control, School of Public Health|, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

3 National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza Research Centre, P.O. Box 1462, Mwanza, Tanzania

4 Department of Pathology, Parasitology Section, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, UK

5 Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:274  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-274

Published: 28 November 2012


In Tanzania, the first cases of schistosomiasis were reported in the early 19th century. Since then, various studies have reported prevalences of up to 100% in some areas. However, for many years, there have been no sustainable control programmes and systematic data from observational and control studies are very limited in the public domain. To cover that gap, the present article reviews the epidemiology, malacology, morbidity, and the milestones the country has made in efforts to control schistosomiasis and discusses future control approaches. The available evidence indicates that, both urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis are still highly endemic in Tanzania and cause significant morbidity.Mass drug administration using praziquantel, currently used as a key intervention measure, has not been successful in decreasing prevalence of infection. There is therefore an urgent need to revise the current approach for the successful control of the disease. Clearly, these need to be integrated control measures.

Schistosomiasis; S. mansoni; S. Mansoni; epidemiology; morbidity; control; Tanzania