Schistosomiasis has become recognized as ranking next to malaria in importance among the animal parasite diseases of man, when considered from the viewpoint of disability and deaths. Indeed, now that practical and economical methods of malaria control are available, schistosomiasis looms as the most important health problem to be solved in many tropical and subtropical regions. Stoll (1947) estimated that there were approximately 114 million cases of schistosomiasis in the world, representing about five per cent of the world's population.
The control of schistosomiasis is constantly receiving more attention. Several national governments are conducting control measures or making preliminary studies of their local problems. A joint study group of the Office International d'Hygiene Publique and the World Health Organization held a meeting on Bilharziasis in Cairo in October, 1949. Subsequently the World Health Organization appointed an Expert Committee on Bilharziasis, four members of which, Drs. Faust, McMullen, Oliver-González and Wright, are members of this Society.