Purpose and Priorities

The GSA Engineering Working Group (EWG) is a convening, enabling and coordinating platform for engineers and non-engineers working on prevention of schistosomiasis via the construction of infrastructure or creation of new technologies.

The purpose of the group is to collate relevant existing information, recommend best practices, identify gaps in knowledge, and promote research and implementation at-scale, of infrastructure or technological solutions to schistosomiasis prevention. The EWG is therefore technically focused primarily, focusing on constructability, technical effectiveness, operation and maintenance requirements, safety standards and cost. The EWG recognises that user acceptability and behaviours must also be taken into account and will draw on relevant inputs from other working groups as required, however the main focus of the EWG’s efforts will be technical.

The priorities of the GSA Engineering Working Group (EWG) include but are not limited to:

  1. Review the range of exposure and transmission routes leading to schistosomiasis infection and develop a matrix of infrastructure and technology solutions that would be applicable in reducing risk in each setting.
  2. Produce and widely disseminate design guides for safe water contact infrastructure, including (but not limited to) laundry and bathing facilities. This will consider infrastructure using both protected water sources (e.g. groundwater) and unprotected sources (e.g. contaminated lake water).
  3. Review the impact of large engineering projects on schistosomiasis risk (e.g. dams, irrigation projects) and current best practices, identifying gaps in technical knowledge.
  4. Promote and support research into the topics listed above.
  5. Promote the uptake of the outputs of the EWG at-scale and in as many settings/countries as appropriate.

Current members of the GSA Engineering Working Group include representation from Cranfield University, Stanford University, Imperial College London, World Vision International, University of Glasgow in the UK, Addis Ababa University, Unlimit Health, Vector Borne and NTDs Division in the Ministry of Health of Uganda, National Institute of Medical Research Tanzania, Mwanza Urban Water Supply And Sanitation Authority, Ibandan University of Nigeria and the NALA Foundation.

If you would like to be involved please email us: anouk [dot] gouvras [at] eliminateschisto [dot] org