Swimming, bathing, washing clothes, and fishing—these are everyday activities that put people in the developing world at risk of catching bilharzia (or schistosomiasis), if the water is infected with eggs of the schistosome worm.
Left untreated, the disease can eventually block internal organs such as the liver and intestines, often leading to death. Children are especially at risk, with even a moderate infection producing tiredness, pain, diarrhea, poor concentration, and slowed growth.
The disease is blamed for damaging the economy of already under-developed regions.
Now, a thirty-million-dollar program is fighting bilharzia, starting in Uganda, one of the most severely affected countries. This program shows how the nation is tracking and treating the infection while monitoring the effectiveness of the medication.
This film is part of the KILL OR CURE series of 57 x 25-minute documentaries produced for the BBC. These films can be bought individually or as a series.