Control of schistosomiasis - A practical guide for irrigation development


The Guide illustrates and describes each stage of the Schistome life cycle and explains the available control measures which can be targeted at that stage.

The control measures which design engineers and planners can incorporate into the basic design and operation of the irrigation system are also described in some detail.

The control measures discussed in the guide include:

  • Chemotherapy of schistosomiasis

  • Eggs and sanitation

  • Control measures aimed at eliminating snails

  • Chemical

  • Engineering/Environmental

  • Biological

  • Reducing contact with cerariae infested water.

Experience from a number of countries shows that the long term control of Schistosomiasis is most effective when carried out within the primary health care system.

This report will therefore be useful to health professionals to raise their awareness that methods do exist by which design engineers can use preventative measures, such as:

  • Designing and building irrigation networks to avoid areas of ponding

  • Lining secondary and tertiary canals with concrete

  • Introducing fast flowing canals

  • Introducing water scheduling which permits each section of the canal network to periodically dry out

Decisions made at the early planning phase can also have long-lasting implications for the health of the population. Potential transmission sites include; long main canals, night storage ponds and pools in natural streams. Distance from potentially infected water bodies should, therefore, be an important consideration in the selection of sites for locating villages. The provision of safe water supplies and adequate sanitation will also contribute significantly to reducing infection levels and preventing contamination of water bodies with schistome eggs.


Control of schistosomiasis - A practical guide for irrigation development

Published 1 January 1996