A core objective of BRIGHT is to share our results, progress, and to increase the knowledge about Bilharzia.

In order to see the latest news about BRIGHT: News section

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A collection of high resolution downloadable photographs of the people of BRIGHT and our work can be found in our photo gallery.

For more questions please contact our communication officer:

Ida Amelie Mayes: [email protected]

South Africa no: (+27) 76 692 819

Norwegian no: (+47) 906 56 702

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Although the situations portrayed on this website are typical of the research none of the persons in this website are research patients (study participants). None of the persons portrayed in the treatment and investigative situations are minors. They have kindly given their permissions to publish the images.
Kinldy credit photographer Håvard Holme.


Ugu District at the forefront

Child stunting, anaemia, impaired learning ability and the negative impact on health and socio-economic status may be prevented by correct treatment and Sister Siphumile Mlambo, CDC Ugu, informed us that South Africa is one of the five countries – worldwide – that has yet to map the presence of the worm diseases. In order to curb the devastating health consequences of worms some areas might need mass-treatment. Ugu District has been the first to pilot mass-treatment in some schools the last decade. However many areas in South Africa are unexplored and therefore urine and faeces must be collected in each of South Africa’s 52 districts. This will make it possible to decide on the best treatment strategies for the different areas. Ugu District Department of Health: Deputy District Manager, Sister Thoko Ntuli emphasised the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to managing urogenital Bilharzia and the soil-transmitted helminths (intestinal worms). Dr Lester Chitsulo (Geneva/Malawi) who has worked on Female Genital Schistosomiasis and so-called Neglected Tropical Diseases for the World Health Organisation presented the plight of children with schistosomiasis and discussed the necessity for early management of disease. Dr Femi Olowookorun, Ugu District Medical Officer, spoke about the possible intervention points in the wake of the upcoming infant syrup for treatment of the disease. The BRIGHT team (University of KwaZulu-Natal) presented the latest news in research and also gave a practical approach to teenagers in need of health services. A lively discussion ensued, especially as Dr. Patricia Ndhlovu, Imperial College, UK,  spoke about the hot spots of infested rivers near some of our local schools. Sister Siphumile Mlambo Dr Femi Olowookorun BRIGHT team, Sister Nombeko Mpofana (below)... read more

How many people have worms in South Africa?

South Africa is the only country that has not yet found out how much soil transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis there is. However this is about to change. The Centre for Disease Control, Mrs Takalani Nemungadi, will lead the work to map South Africa and the WHO is committed to contribute to the exercise which will take place before March 2016. Urine and faeces will be collected in Grade 5 pupils in South Africa’s 52 districts to look for water-transmitted worms: Bilharzia (Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni), and soil-transmitted worms: Hookworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, and Trichuris trichiura. Each district will be divided into 2-4 ecological zones and in each of these zones 3-5 schools will be randomly selected for testing. Mrs Takalani Nemungadi, Department of Health deep in concentration with Professor Trevor Mulaudzi, University of Limpopo, at a preparatory meeting in Pretoria today. The Department of Education has already committed to treating the soil transmitted worms in the entire country, you can read more here. Do prepare your school for mapping and for... read more

Ambassador brainstorm

The Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa, Ms Trine Skymoen met with BRIGHT’s Dr Eyrun Kjetland and the consequences of Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS, Bilharzia) for millions of African women was discussed together with the Minister Counsellor Ola Brevik and Second Secretary Øyvind F. Vangberg. The women at risk are those who have once in their lifetime or more, been in contact with waterbodies such as rivers, streams, lakes or dams. The research done by BRIGHT is unique, not only in South Africa but in the world and will uncover aspects of the FGS that will be useful the whole of rural Africa. The Norwegian Embassy in South Africa is not mandated to work with health issues but the participants at the meeting brainstormed possibilities for advocacy, sharing knowledge and resources. Being based in middle income South Africa the project falls outside the scope of many donors even though the disease in question is a typical third world disease. Norwegians, Dutch, Danish and Belgian students have learned to become international, competent researchers through the project. Moreover, the project has trained many South Africans and is currently workplace to 20-30 highly skilled South... read more
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