, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 1483-1491
Date: 26 Jan 2013

The new national integrated strategy emphasizing infection sources control for schistosomiasis control in China has made remarkable achievements

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Abstract

Schistosomiasis japonica remains one important public health concern that cause great loss of humans' health and social-economic development in the Peoples' Republic of China. At the end of 1990s and the beginning of 2000s, there were still about 0.8 million patients and nearly 85 million people living in the epidemic areas around China. We undertook full analysis of the epidemiological data of schistosomiasis taken from the report of schistosomiasis status in People's Republic of China from 1999 to 2010 for effectiveness assessment of China's new strategy for schistosomiasis control nationwide after its implementation since the beginning the 21st century. The schistosomiasis-endemic uncontrolled counties or towns decreased in number from 1,149 in 2002 to 643 in 2010 at a rate of 44 %. The number of schistosomiasis patients decreased from nearly 800,000 to less than 326,000 in 2010 at a decrease rate of more than 50 %. The number of acute schistosomiasis patients also decreased significantly, and only 43 cases were reported in 2010. The infection rates of cattle in the endemic uncontrolled provinces decreased greatly though the number of cattle and the actual snail habitat areas remained large with no obvious decline. The schistosome infection rates of human and cattle both decreased significantly by more than 64 % and 75 %. However, most of the uncontrolled schistosomiasis-endemic areas, schistosomiasis patients, and acute cases are generally located in the four provinces (Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Anhui) of the lake regions in the middle and lower reach of the Yangtze River, and the egg-positive rates in diagnosed human in endemic Hunan and Hubei remained higher than 10 %. Therefore, the new strategy of schistosomiasis control via integrated measures emphasizing infection source control is scientific and successful around China, though it is essential to explore an effective and sustainable strategy for schistosomiasis control in the tough lake and marshland regions of China. The four provinces (Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Anhui) of the lake regions in China are the main battlefield of China's schistosomiasis control in the present and future.