Schistomiasis Control Initiative

WEEK 17: Schistomiasis Control Initiative

Welcome back to GIVE52, Let's get right into it with this week's organization, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. This initiative helps governments in sub-Saharan Africa treat schistosomiasis, one of the most common neglected tropical diseases.

First off, a lot of people ask me these common questions:

What is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD)?
Neglected tropical diseases mainly affect people living in poverty. They are common in areas without adequate sanitation like clean running water or toilets. They are also common in communities that live in close contact with domestic animals and livestock or near areas where insect vectors (like mosquitoes, worms, etc.) thrive.

Why are these diseases called Neglected?
These diseases disproportionately affect the poor and people without a strong political voice. Without political will and funding, these diseases and the people they affect have gotten low priority in public health. Lack of reliable statistics and disease names that are often hard to pronounce have also contributed to the lack of political will and funding. Hence, they are deemed "neglected". I think we need to change this.

SCI's role has primarily been to identify country recipients, provide funding to governments for government-implemented programs, provide advisory support, and conduct monitoring and evaluation on the process and outcomes of the programs. Rated by many as one of the most cost-effective, transparent, and research-based organizations in the world, a donation to SCI will be used wisely and efficiently to get rid of schistosomiasis for good.

In April 2013, SCI announced that the organization had facilitated delivery of its 100 millionth treatment of praziquantel against schistosomiasis. In 2016, they have helped more countries establish national control programs and several smaller pilot projects, and have treated over 60 million people.

SCI continues to grow to meet the need, but with over 230 million people still needing regular treatment there remains a long road ahead to control and then to eliminate schistosomiasis. We can make a dent in this issue.

Let's spread the word and shed more light on the issue of neglected tropical diseases.
Together we can bring attention to this issue and fundraise for treatments and research.

Here's to you!

Have a fantastic week,