Schistosomiasis, commonly known as snail fever, impacts nearly 261 million people, causing potential organ damage and poor health. The disease is caused by parasitic worms that live in certain types of freshwater snails. In sub-Saharan Africa, snail fever accounts for more than 200,000 deaths each year, making it the second leading parasitic killer after malaria.
Miners who stand all day in water searching for rough diamonds and gold are especially vulnerable. In children infection can cause anemia, malnutrition and learning difficulties and often prevents them from attending school.
We are helping to prevent, treat and eliminate snail fever and other neglected tropical diseases by building the capacity of national governments to administer annual treatments that are proven to prevent the spread of the diseases, regularly assess the impact of those treatments, and promote behavior change through in-school programs to prevent disease transmission in at-risk communities.