Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ten million Africans treated by international disease treatment programme

07.07.2005


A disease treatment programme started three years ago by Imperial College London has now treated over ten million African children and adults for schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections in six sub-Saharan countries.



Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that leads to chronic ill-health affecting more than 200 million people in developing countries. Intestinal worms cause debilitating malnutrition, stunted growth and anaemia.

The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), supported by a $30 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 2002 to tackle schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa, where infected people are unable to afford the drugs needed for treatment. Schistosomiasis can be treated with a single dose of an inexpensive and effective medicine called praziquantel.


Professor Alan Fenwick, Director of the SCI, comments: “Simple measures such as the provision of education and low cost treatment programmes have now helped reduce the burden of illness for over ten million people. SCI is an excellent example of a simple and highly cost effective programme which has helped alleviate a global problem. Parasitic diseases are often left untreated because priority is given to more acute diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB. But the treatment, which costs less than 25 pence per year, gives children a much better start in life.”

In addition to a treatment programme, the SCI has also set up an education programme to raise awareness of the disease, and how to avoid becoming infected by schistosomiasis.

Professor Stephen Smith, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, adds: “Alan and his team have managed a remarkable feat in treating so many people in such a short period of time. These figures show how initiatives such as the SCI can make a real difference in tackling serious problems in the developing world.”

About schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitic disease caused by infection with the blood fluke (worm) Schistosoma spp. It is one of the most common parasitic diseases in the world, affecting some 200 million people and causing severe disease in approximately 20 million people. In Africa, as illnesses such as polio and tuberculosis have been controlled, schistosomiasis has emerged as a major silent killer, typically striking around the age of 35.

The parasite, which multiplies in fresh water snails, enters the human body through the skin, when people come into contact with fresh water, polluted by human sewage. After entering the body, the parasite travels to the liver, where it grows to a worm about a centimetre in length. Male and female worms pair up and then live for many years in the blood vessels around the bladder and intestine, feeding off the blood. Female worms lay many eggs per day, which escape from the body back to the water during urination and defecation.

In heavy infections, thousands of eggs escape from the body daily, but in doing so rupture capillary blood vessels causing heavy blood loss. Those eggs which do not escape become trapped in the liver, causing a blockage and extreme damage, eventually leading to death.

Those most at risk of schistosomiasis are school-age children, women, and those involved in occupations such as irrigation farming and fishing.

Tony Stephenson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>