, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 305–313 | Cite as

Past explosion and future threat: Exacerbation of red water disease (Schistosomiasis haematobium) in the Upper Region of Ghana

  • Hunter John M. 
Studies in Medical Geography in Africa


An historical reconstruction is offered which suggests that the hyperendemicity of “red water” or Schistosomiasis haematobium in Ghana's Upper Region may have been, in part, an inadvertent by-product of agricultural development, through the construction of a large number of agricultural dams in an endemic area some 20 years ago. No disease prevention measures were undertaken in conjunction with the building of the dams, and S. haematobium prevalence may have been tripled in consequence. Certainly river blindness and probably other water-related diseases were also affected. Cyclical labor migration disseminates schistosomiasis southwards from the hyperendemic zone to those transmission sites where suitable snail hosts are to be found. History may be about to repeat itself in 1981 – 1985 in that a new wave of construction of dams will commence in the region; again without the concurrent introduction of any measures for disease control. Integrated planning is needed to prevent disease exacerbation by agriculture.


Blindness Endemic Area Schistosomiasis Agricultural Development Labor Migration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hunter John M. 
    • 1
  1. 1.African Studies CenterMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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