What problem are they working on?

Schistosomiasis

  • Schistosomiasis is carried by infected freshwater snails.
  • Schistosomiasis is transmitted by human contact with contaminated fresh water. SCI is widespread but extremely cheap to treat.
  • More than 200,000 people die each year from schistosomiasis.
  • Many sufferers develop severe and sometimes disfiguring disabilities from complications from the disease, including kidney disease, liver disease and bladder cancer.
  • Children with chronic disease can suffer from anemia and malnutrition, which can contribute to lost days at school and pervasive learning disabilities.

What do they do?

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) supports governments in sub-Saharan Africa implement programs to treat schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis. SCI specializes in mass drug administration programs, which are a very cheap (around $0.50 per person treated) and effective way to cure schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis. SCI’s primary responsibilities are to identify affected countries, secure funding for mass drug administration programs, provide advisory support, and monitor and evaluate the outcomes of these programs.

Does it work?

SCI’s mass drug administration programs focus on delivering treatments that have been rigorously studied and found to be effective. SCI’s monitoring programs further show that they reach targeted children and that infection rates decrease in their targeted populations.

What do you get for your dollar?

GiveWell estimates the average the total cost of a schistosomiasis treatment is $1.19. Excluding drugs (which may be donated) and government contributions, GiveWell estimates that SCI’s cost per treatment is about $0.49.

How much money could they use?

GiveWell estimates SCI can commit to a maximum of between $9 million and $21.4 million in the 2017 – 2018 budget year.

We recommend SCI because of its:

  • Focus on a program with excellent cost-effectiveness.
  • Strong track record in starting and scaling up deworming programs.
  • Rigorous self-evaluation of its programs.
  • Consistent ranking as one of the top giving opportunities by charity evaluator GiveWell.

 

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