Schistosomiasis Control in Theory and Practice

(The 27th Charles Franklin Craig Lecture)

Donald B. McMullenWalter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

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The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has sponsored two formal presentations on the problem of schistosomiasis. The first of these was the Eighteenth Charles Franklin Craig Lecture in 1953 and the second, a joint symposium with the American Society of Parasitologists, was held a year later. The resulting publications helped define the problems that had been encountered in studying the epidemiology and in controlling the human schistosomes. By 1958 more progress along these lines had been made but reports on the use of control measures in the field and a demonstrable reduction in prevalence were rare. When a new Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain took office in 1962 he said, “Progress is made not by finding the answers but by progressively clarifying the question.” Within reason this is true of schistosomiasis control, but eventually someone expects to have some answers and there has been some urgency to do something that would actually reverse the spread and the increase in prevalence of this infection.

Author Notes

Temporarily assigned to the Parasitic Diseases Unit, Communicable Diseases Division, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.