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    The control of schistosomiasis: report of a WHO Expert Committee.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Expert Committee on the Control of Schistosomiasis


    This document represents the work of a World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on the Control of Schistosomiasis which met in Geneva in 1984. Chapters in this volume focus on epidemiology, disease due to schistosomiasis, methods of control, progress in national control programs, and a strategy for morbidity control. At present, the aim is to control the morbidity due to schistosomiasis rather than to control its transmission. The simplicity of diagnostic techniques, the safety and ease of administering oral antischistosomal drugs, the use of snail control measures based on specific epidemiologic criteria, and precise methods of data collection and analysis mean that control activities can be adapted to suit any level of the health care delivery system. Drug treatment reduces the prevalence and intensity of infection, prevents or reduces pathologic manifestations in infected persons, and is generally the most cost-effective way of achieving schistosomiasis control. On the basis of the severity of schistosomiasis in the area, its priority rating as a public health problem, and available resources, those operational approaches most suited to a particular area should be identified. Active community participation is necessary to ensure that the maximum benefits are derived from chemotherapy. Maintenance of transmission control by the primary health care system, through monitoring of both parasitologic indexes and clinical signs and measurements, is essential. In most endemic areas, schoolchildren are regarded as the most appropriate target group for monitoring. The WHO Expert Committee has recommended that schistosomiasis control programs be integrated into primary health care and noted the need for greater administrative and managerial expertise in schistosomiasis control. Improvement in socioeconomic conditions in endemic areas provides the longterm solution to schistosomiasis control.
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