WHO WER9748 | Schistosomiasis and soil- transmitted helminthiases: progress report, 2021

2 December 2022

"Globally, 75.3 million people received treatment for schistosomiasis in 2021, for a total coverage of 29.9%; 94% of all treatment delivered globally was in the African Region. The low coverage was due mainly to control measures for the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in suspension of PC in many countries and endemic areas. Some countries (Uganda and Zimbabwe) that have large numbers of people who require PC for schistosomiasis did not implement PC in 2021, while another (Madagascar) submitted a report, which is being reviewed. When these data become available, the number of treatments may show some increase in global coverage in 2021. Equatorial Guinea and South Africa have not yet started PC for schistosomiasis.
Global coverage of treatment for adults remained low, the main barrier being limited availability of free praziquantel for adults. The availability of additional quality-assured praziquantel would help to increase treatment of adults.

To date, 3 pharmaceutical companies, Macleods Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Medopharm and Hetero, are producing WHO-prequalified praziquantel."

Excerpt from Weekly Epidemiological Record, 2022, vol. 97, 48

In 2021

  • PC for schistosomiasis was required in 51 countries, for a total of 251.4 million people: 136 million SAC and 115.4 million adults.
  • 75.3 million people (58.9 million SAC and 16.4 million adults) received PC for schistosomiasis.
  • Coverage of SAC with PC was 43.3% for schistosomiasis.
  • 16 of the 37 countries that provided PC for schistosomiasis achieved ≥75% national coverage for SAC.
  • The African Region - 32 countries reported on implementation of PC which covered 55.1 million (47.2%) SAC and 13.9 million (13.0%) adults [data from Madagascar - 5.5 million SAC received treatment for schistosomiasis].
  • The Region of the Americas, only Brazil provided selective treatment for schistosomiasis in 2021, reaching 6842 individuals.
  • The South-East Asia Region, Indonesia is endemic for schistosomiasis and reported treatment of 159 individuals (SAC and adults) in 2021, for a coverage rate of 0.5%
  • The Eastern Mediterranean Region, only Yemen of the 4 countries endemic for schistosomiasis reported treatment, covering 2.3 million SAC and adults.
  • The Western Pacific Region, all 3 countries in which PC is required for schistosomiasis submitted reports on treatment for schistosomiasis in 2021. A total of 0.7 million (65%) SAC and 1.2 million (65%) adults received PC for schistosomiasis.

Download the report here