Sightsavers | New research shows high burden of FGS in Nigeria

23 Jun 2024
Omosefe Osinoiki

A new research study by Sightsavers has revealed that up to 41% of women in certain areas of Nigeria are likely to suffer from female genital schistosomiasis (FGS).  

The study took place in the Nigerian states of Kebbi and Ondo, and focused on areas where schistosomiasis was known to be endemic. The researchers interviewed hundreds of women across the two states, and carried out clinical examinations to confirm the presence of FGS.  

The study highlighted not just the high prevalence of FGS in some areas, but also the impact that the condition can have on women’s mental health. 

Women and girls with FGS are at a high risk of complications such as urinary incontinence and infertility, and these complications can lead to social isolation and stigma. The researchers found, when speaking with women affected by FGS, that 30% had experienced depression linked to the disease. 

The study went on to look at key improvements that policymakers and health workers can implement, to make a difference for women with FGS. Their recommendations include: 

  • Training health workers to diagnose FGS 
  • Integrating FGS testing into other health programmes 
  • Improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene 

You can learn more about the research in this blog by Sightsavers researcher Omosefe Osinoiki. The team at Sightsavers are also aiming to publish a peer-reviewed research paper in the near future, which will share a more detailed set of results from this study. 

Female Genital Schistosomiasis FIG