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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.2 Rio de Janeiro Mar./Apr. 1995 

Schistosomiasis control in China

Hong-Chang Yuan1 

Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. of China


After three decades' efforts, schistosomiasis japonica were controlled in one-third (4/12) of endemic provinces and 68.2 (259/380) of endemic counties throughout the country. The remaining 121 endemic counties are located primarily in the lake and mountainous regions. The epidemiological and ecological features of the lake and mountainous areas are different from the other endemic areas. The major schistosomiasis control efforts in China can be characterized as follows: (1) Application of centralized leadership and management, since schistosomiasis control is a task not only of the Ministry of Public Health, but also of all local governments in the endemic areas; (2) Integration of actions taken by various departments or bureaus, such as agriculture, water conservation and public health; (3) Promotion of mass participation; (4) Organization of strong professional teams; (5) Raising sufficient funds. Strategies on schistosomiasis control applied in different areas are divided into three levels: (1) In the areas where the schistosomiasis has been successfully controlled, surveillance must be maintained and immediate action should be taken where new infections occur and/or vector snails are found, so that control can be reestablished quickly; (2) In the areas where schistosomiasis has been partially controlled, any residents and/or live-stock infected should be examined and treated promptly with due care, and environment modifying and/or mollusciding must be used to eliminate the remaining snails; (3) In the areas where transmission has not been controlled, the main strategy is to control morbidity. Mass or selective chemotherapy with praziquental should be applied to both infected persosns and the live-stock, and environment modification for the snail-ridden areas should be taken but should be coordinated with agriculture where possible. Advance cases must be treated; and epidemics of Katayama fever prevented; water supply and sanitation shoud be improved and health education emphasized. Annual mass or selective chemotherapy with praziquental both reduces the prevalence rate and decreases the intensity of the infection for inhabitants and live-stock. As a consequence of the therapy a low prevalence rate can be obtained in a short time. The length of such arrangement period can be decided in accordance with the prevalence of the infection before the drug program is begun. Therefore,a maintenance phase is urgently needed. As China's ecomony expands and people's living standard rises, schistosomiasis will be controlled more effectively and successfully.

Key words: schistosomiasis japonica; control; China


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