The Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plant studies organised the first Schistosomiasis Day on July 26th 2023 at its headquarters in Yaoundé. This day aims at boosting researchers and youths in fighting this disease amongst Cameroonians.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease found in rural areas and semi urban areas of Cameroon, with nearly five million Cameroonians at risk.
For this first edition, identifying bottlenecks in this disease prevention behavioural challenges, engaging participants in understanding best practices to enhance responsibility and bringing solutions to improve the diverse strategies currently in place, considering cultural barriers, are major goals to tick as this journey unfolds in eradicating Schistosomiasis.
Achieving these objectives demands a level of expertise. It is in this line that, this day brought together experts in the field to share knowledge and discuss solutions to address research on Schistosomiasis. Dr. Justin Nono, event organiser emphasised on conscientizing and preventing the population from a possible endemic … ‘’ it appears to be a very substile disease and the transmission per say is not very noticeable until it is too advanced. The importance today is to let people know what are the best ways to prevent the acquisition of this disease. Let’s note that the Male/Female Genital Schistosomiasis is the deposition of the parasite eggs in the genital tracts, linking to higher risk of STDs like HIV Aids or cancer. We will continue inciting people in schools, research centres and remote areas on what behaviour to adopt facing this disease…’’ He speaks.
Report has it that Cameroon government alongside with the WHO Assembly have a roadmap range for 2021-2030, which aims massively preventing this epidemic. A strategy put in place by several NGOs today benefits Cameroon as a large number of Praziquantel (treatment against Schistosomiasis) at an affordable price.
The realization of this day will allow the various actors working in the field of Schistosomiasis in Cameroon to learn from peers through both formal and informal dialogue as well as receiving feedback.
We note that , People become infected when larval forms of the parasite – released by freshwater snails – penetrate the skin during contact with infested water. Transmission occurs when people suffering from schistosomiasis contaminate freshwater sources with faeces or urine containing parasite eggs, which hatch in water.
In the body, the larvae develop into adult schistosomes. Adult worms live in the blood vessels where the females release eggs. Some of the eggs are passed out of the body in the faeces or urine to continue the parasite’s lifecycle. Others become trapped in body tissues, causing immune reactions and progressive damage to organs.
Day one serves as a wake up call and an alert to health officials to double efforts in dealing with this disease so it could be contained. It is also a hand extension to researchers to collaborate in other to reach common goals.