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Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Communicable Diseases / Parasitic and Neglected Diseases

PAHO/WHO Preparatory Meeting on Epidemiological Data Needed to Plan Elimination of Schistosomiasis in the Caribbean

(St. George, Grenada, 13–14 December 2007)

PAHO/WHO meeting on schistosomiasis elimination in the Caribbean

Report & Presentations

Meeting Report
(16 pp, PDF, 336 Kb; links to chapters in table of contents, plus to presentations in chapters; links appearing below are to individual presentations in PowerPoint PDF, size up to 8610 Kb)

- Objectives, general & specific (text to right)
- Background (summarized to right)

- Summary of Presentations
- Background and Objectives of Schistosomiasis Control at the Global and Regional Levels
- Background on Schistosomiasis in the Latin American and Caribbean Region in the Context of Neglected Tropical Diseases Control
- World Health Assembly Resolution 54.19 and Role of PAHO/WHO
- Successful Control and Elimination Programs in other WHO Regions and in Brazil
- Schistosomiasis in Brazil
- Successful Schistosomiasis Control Program in Africa
- Situation Analysis of Schistosomiasis in Endemic Countries and Formerly-Endemic Countries
Suriname | St. Lucia | Puerto Rico
- Issues on Surveillance, Endemicity, and Morbidity
- Surveillance System for Communicable Disease and NTDs in the Caribbean
- Challenges of Detection and Measurement of Schistosomiasis Morbidity
- Cuba: I | II

- Recommendations (text to right)
- Action Points Suggested for PAHO/WHO (text to right)
- Next Steps
- Acknowledgements
- References

Annex I: Agenda
Annex II: List of Participants

PAHO Links
- Framework for a Regional Program for Control of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections and Schistosomiasis in the Americas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2–6 June 2003)
- Filariasis
- Parasitic Diseases
- Neglected Diseases
- Regional Program

WHO Links
- Schistomiasis and Soil-Transmitted Parasite Infections: Preliminary Estimates of the Number of Children Treated with Albendazole or Mebendazole (WER, No. 16, 2006, 81, 145164)
- Schistosomiasis
- Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic
- Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Partners for Parasite Control (PPC)
- Tropical Disease Research

Schistosomiasis is a global health problem in the developing world, with approximately 200 million people infected and more than 650 million living in endemic areas. In the Americas, it remains endemic in parts of Brazil, Venezuela, and the Caribbean. Schistosomiasis is a disease of the poor who live in conditions favoring transmission. It is an insidious disease, poorly recognized at early ages and disabling to adults during their most productive years, causing deep acute and chronic morbidity. It is transmitted by schistosomes, parasitic trematode worms (in the Americas, primarily Schistosoma mansoni). Schistosomiasis is one of ten tropical diseases targeted for control at the global level: the World Health Organization's Global Plan to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases 2008–2015 includes it as one of the neglected diseases to initially be targeted with intensified efforts.

schistosomiasis in the Caribbean

General Objective: Meet and interchange with national authorities and schistosomiasis specialists to gauge the level of interest and estimate the time frame and resources needed for elimination of schistosomiasis in the Caribbean.

Specific Objectives

  • Identify and understand existing Schistosomiasis surveillance and control program actions in endemic countries and formerly-endemic countries in the Caribbean.
  • Gather existing data useful to map the current prevalence of schistosomiasis and Praziquantel treatment coverage in endemic countries.
  • Identify the necessary epidemiological and ecological data still needed to plan for Schistosomiasis elimination in the Caribbean.

Schistosomiasis in LAC


  1. The group agreed that Schistosomiasis is an important public health problem in the Latin American and the Caribbean but the scope of the problem is unrecognized.
  2. Due to the similarities between the distribution and diagnosis of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), the group concluded that their surveillance and control efforts should be coordinated.
  3. The group proposed the formation of a Regional Alliance for schistosomiasis elimination and STH control in the Caribbean, for which PAHO could serve as Secretariat.
  4. The first task of the Regional Alliance is to conduct mapping of Schistosomiasis distribution in the Caribbean.
  5. It was concluded that this proposal be presented for approval at the meeting of the Chief Medical Officers Council during the 2008 meeting of the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), scheduled for 24–26 April in Paramaribo, Suriname.
  6. It was recommended that PAHO take the lead in coordinating the formation of the Regional Alliance and future activities, including the development of timelines and priorities.
  7. The participants of the meeting pledged their full support to fulfill these recommendations.

Action Points Suggested for PAHO/WHO

  1. Collect additional epidemiological, environmental, historical, and current data.
  2. Obtain locations of primary schools and numbers of students in endemic countries.
  3. Obtain protocols for schistosomiasis and STH surveillance from other areas of low endemnicity, or develop such protocols.

Meeting co-sponsored by St. George's University (SGU), St. George, Grenada St. George's University

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