What is schistosomiasis?

Schistosomiasis is a water-borne tropical disease caused by parasitic worms, with many people dying from it every year. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has committed itself to fighting this insidious disease.

A Neglected Tropical Disease

More than 240 million people worldwide are infected with this water-borne disease caused by parasitic worms, with an estimated 200,000 dying every year in sub-Saharan Africa. Schistosomiasis is often found in conditions of poverty where access to clean water and sanitation are poor. When disease burden and economic impact are taken into account, it is regarded as one of the most devastating neglected tropical diseases.

How it affects people

Watch our video from Ivory Coast.

The serious effects

Infection can lead to a range of symptoms and problems, such as anemia, abdominal pain and swelling, blood in urine/stool or bladder cancer, depending on the exact area of the body that is infected. These symptoms can negatively impact cognitive development, growth and more. They can also affect community and economic development, as infected adults who have a chronic infection, often dating back to childhood, become debilitated and unable to work. In partnership with other organizations including WHO, we have set ourselves the goal of fully eliminating this disease.

More than a decade ago we committed ourselves to the fight against schistosomiasis. Learn more about our efforts to eliminate the disease.

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More awareness will lead to greater action to control and eliminate schistosomiasis. Have a look how we made noise around this disease.

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We are taking responsibility for the societies in which we operate. Our efforts in global health are part of the Corporate Responsibility Report.

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