Schistosomiasis (bilharziasis) is a parasitic disease cause by female worms(schistosomulae), residing in the human body. The disease is caught by larvae residing in fresh water penetrating the skin. The female larvae lays thousands of eggs which scars the intestines, bladder, kidneys, liver, or lung. The main symptom is blood in urine.

It is estimated that 200 million people world wide are infected with the disease. It is endemic in Africa, Asia, and South America. Nigeria is considered to have the largest number of cases.  

Children are more susceptible to the disease. It can stunt growth and interfere with learning. Infected individuals pea in the fresh water, releasing thousands of larvae(miracidiae), which infects the snails and multiply producing another lavae called cercariae. Cercariae released into the water, penetrates human skins and infect the body becoming the worm, schistosomulae.

  • Safe Water
  • Good Sanitation

  • praziquantel (1 dose per year, 18 cent)  

Works Cited


Carter Center. Schistosomiasis Control Program. What is schistosomiasis(pdf)