Report | First Schistosomiasis day at IMPM, Yaoundé, Cameroon

28 Nov 2023

The idea of the organization of a day of scientific exchanges and communion of people to focus on the problem of schistosomiasis locally stemmed from long term discussions between Dr Claudia Demarta-Gatsi (Merck Global Health Institute, Switzerland) and Dr Justin Komguep Nono (IMPM, Cameroon). The idea was later on pitched to Ms Hannah Bialic from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology (WCIP) of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, during the Scottish Schistosomiasis workshop organized in September 2022 in Glasgow by the team of Prof Poppy Lamberton. An idea she liked and pledged WCIP financial and technical support in accompanying this event in Cameroon.

The goals of the event were to foster community ownership by getting local actors (more) aware of the right attitude towards prevention of infection and control, highlight ongoing local scientific research and consolidate the local network of schistosomiasis researchers. As such the event needed to be inclusive of most parts of a country in terms of representation; a stretch rendered possible in Cameroon by the financial support of the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and the operative contribution of their public engagement manager, Ms Hannah Bialic, brought onboard following discussions at the Scotland’s Schistosomiasis Workshop in September 2022 in Glasgow.

On July 26th, 2023, the first schistosomiasis day (awareness and scientific networking) took place in the Conference Hall of the Institute for Medical Research and Medicinal Plant (IMPM) Studies in Yaoundé Cameroon. This ‘Schistosomiasis day’, aimed to raise awareness among university students of the disease spread and its possible complications on health and consequently on society by involving them in the fight again the disease.