Ethiopia Schistosomiasis and Soil-Transmitted Helminthes Control Programme: Progress and Prospects
Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes are among seventeen WHO prioritized neglected tropical diseases that infect humans. These parasitic infections can be treated using single-dose and safe drugs. Ethiopia successfully mapped the distribution of these infections nationwide. According to the mapping there are an estimated 37.3 million people living in schistosomiasis endemic areas, and 79 million in schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes endemic areas. The Federal Ministry of Health successfully scaled up Schistosomiasis and schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes intervention in endemic areas and treated over 19 million individuals in 2015. The Ministry of Health has made a huge effort to establish neglected tropical diseases, including schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes program in the health system which helped to map majority of the woredas and initiate nationwide intervention. The National control programme is designed to achieve elimination for those diseases as a major public health problem by 2020 and aim to attain transmission break by 2025. The programme focuses on reaching those school-aged children who are not attending school, integration between neglected tropical diseases programme, and further collaboration with the WASH actors.