I spent many of my teenage years living in Malawi, enjoying swimming in beautiful Lake Malawi. Wind on to age 30, and I was struggling to get pregnant. Eventually, following illness, I was diagnosed with schistosomiasis by a consultant and colleague at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

In a recent TED Talk, “Let's talk crap. Seriously.”, UK-based journalist Rose George discussed the significance of sanitation and the lack of access to toilets as a root for larger public health problems around the world.
It might be hard to imagine what it’s like to suffer from a disease like schistosomiasis. The name itself is hard to pronounce, and most people don’t know of anyone who has ever had it…
When it comes to scientific research, not all schistosomes are treated equally.

Giving What We Can is an international society dedicated to eliminating poverty in the developing world by helping people make smart decisions about donating to charitable causes.


The Schistosomiasis Vaccine Initiative was launched in 2008 through funding from Mr. Morton Hyman and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. In collaboration with researchers at James Cook University and The George Washington University, a promising antigen, Sm-TSP-2, was selected for development.


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