In an editorial in the August 13 edition of The Lancet, authors representing the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Imperial College of London call for increased supplies of praziquantel for the African continent.

Praziquantel is the only commercially available treatment for human schistosomiasis, a devastating neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects an estimated 200-600 million people worldwide with the vast majority of cases occuring in Africa. Schistosomiasis can cause chronic anemia and inflammation associated with severe disability among children, adolescents and young adults, and the disease burden could exceed that of malaria.

NTDs are devastating, disabling and debilitating parasitic and bacterial infections that adversely affect the poorest 1.4 billion people worldwide living on $1.25 a day.