Fact sheet – Bilharzia

  • Schistosomiasis is the medical term for Bilharzia
  • Bilharzia is an acute and chronic disease caused by schistosome parasitic worms
  • You cannot see the parasite when it enters your body
  • The worms can stay in the body from 5 to 30 years
  • At least 261 million people required preventive treatment for Bilharzia in 2013 [1]
  • Only 40 million of these were treated in 2013 [1]
  • People are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational and recreational activities which expose them to infested water
  • School-aged children are vulnerable due to swimming or fishing in infested water
  • Bilharzia can be treated with Praziquantel
  • Genital Bilharzia can cause suffering and infertility in both males and females

[1] World Health Organisation (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs115/en/)