SCI Foundation is now Unlimit Health. Learn more about what the change means for our ongoing efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases
Low access to quality reliable water supply and sanitation services sustains the transmission of schistosomiasis (SCH), including in areas where mass drug administration (MDA) has been implemented regularly. In Uganda, SCH is found in 91 of 147 districts, and high levels of transmission persist in some areas despite over 20 years of mass treatment.
Implementing partners: The project is a collaboration between Unlimit Health, the Uganda MoH, RANAS (a Swiss-based behaviour change communications agency) and local partners
Timescale: July 2021 – August 2022
Supported by: The Helen and Michael Brown Charitable Trust and the Christopher Williams Charitable Trust.
As part of our technical collaboration with ministries of health (MoH), Unlimit Health is keen to play a role in enhancing the effectiveness of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions for disease prevention, and the targeting of such interventions to high-prevalence areas. Communities in which SCH prevalence is high often experience low levels of access to quality water and sanitation services.
This one-year pilot project aimed to develop and test an approach to community-driven planning of environmental and behavioural action to reduce the risk of SCH transmission. The project was intended to also provide insights for further collaboration between Unlimit Health and MoH partners for disease prevention, and is the first project of its kind for Unlimit Health.
The project was delivered in three communities with a high prevalence of SCH infection in Kamuli district, Eastern Uganda, and was comprised of three phases:
The participatory approach applied in this project led to a joint understanding of infection risk and community needs between community members and public service providers. This is likely to improve the buy-in for and maintenance of future interventions.
Work is currently underway to raise resources for the interventions emerging from the local planning process, as well as to scale up the approach in other endemic communities.