1. The charity organization
In 2002 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program donated 20 million euro’s (equivalent to 25,029,000 million dollars in American Currency) as an award to establish the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative program at Imperial College London. The award had been directed to delivering treatment for schistosomiasis and intestinal worms to millions of sub-Saharan Africans at high risk of serious disease.
In 2006, the SCI was a founding partner of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control and expanded their focus to integrating the control or elimination of the seven most common NTD’s.
By 2007, the SCI had facilitated delivery of approximately 40 million treatments of praziquantel against schistosomiasis, and many more deworming doses of albendazole. They have helped six countries establish national control programs, and several other countries implement smaller pilot projects.
In 2010, SCI was successful in a competitive bid to run ICOSA - a program funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) - which will deliver 75 million treatments against schistosomiasis and intestinal helminths in 8 countries in sub Saharan Africa.
In April 2013, the SCI announced that the organization had facilitated delivery of its 100 millionth treatment of praziquantel against schistosomiasis.
SCI has partnerships with DFID, WHO, The Earth Institute, RTI international, ITI, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Geneva Global Performance Philanthropy, Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control, USAID, One Health Foundation, End, Softwire, Comic Relief, SCORE, Hellen Keller International, Legatum, Sabin Vaccine Institute, LSTM, RiseAl, Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Developing World Health, CBM, and Crown Agents.
The seven most prevalent NTDs (ascariasis, hookworm infection, trichuriasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF), onchoocerciasis, schistosomiasis, and trachoma) affect over one billion individuals, one sixth of the world population. Ninety percent of the disease burden of NTDs is in Africa with the majority of the infected two or more NTDs. Most can be prevented and eliminated through the administration of inexpensive or donated medicines. Children are the most vulnerable.
The goal of Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) is to treat children and at risk adults for schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths (STH - whipworm, hookworm, roundworm), preventing anaemia, impaired growth and development in children and the development of life-threatening conditions of bladder cancer, kidney malfunction or liver and spleen damage.
SCI assists Ministries of Health across sub-Saharan Africa to control and then eliminate schistosomiasis and STH from their population utilising the World Health Organization’s Drug Donation Program for praziquantel and albendazole. 230 million people, one-third of the total population of Africa, need a regular annual treatment of praziquantel, and 400 million people need a regular annual treatment of albendazole, to eliminate these parasitic diseases from their bodies.
Albendazole treats hydatid disease and other infections caused by tapeworms. It may also be used to treat infections caused by roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms. Albendazole belongs to a class of drugs called anthelmintics.
2. The issue or problem associated with the organization
Praziquantel and Albendazole are safe drugs with only mild if not any side effects. Side effects include slight dizziness, mild headaches, and tiredness.
Prevention is by improved sanitation, which includes improving access to toilets and proper disposal of feces. Hand washing with soap appears protective. In areas where more than 20% of the population is affected, treating everyone at regular intervals is recommended. Reoccurring infections are, however, common. There is no vaccine to worms or NTD’s, but the SCI and