Update: Donations to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative are currently being matched, with $200,000 available for matching. Donate now to double your impact!

What problem are they working on?

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) works to end schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease infecting around 240 million people each year.

  • 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?

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 transmiteed 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 their programs reach targeted children and that infection rates decrease in their targeted populations.

What do you get for your dollar?

GiveWell’s most recent estimates suggest that children are dewormed for a total of around $1.19 per child. Excluding drugs and government contributions, GiveWell estimates that SCI’s cost per treatment is about $0.49.

How much money could they use?

GiveWell estimates that SCI could use between $9 million (50% confidence) and $21.4 million (5% confidence) for its 2017 budget year. 

We recommend SCI because of its:

  • Focus on a program with excellent cost-effectiveness.
  • Great track record in starting and scaling up deworming programs.
  • Rigorous evaluation of its own programs.
  • Emphasis on a proble with high tractability.
  • Consistent ranking among the top giving opportunities of the charity evaluator Givewell.

Get your donation matched!
Martin Crowley has teamed up with Dan Smith to match donations to SCI, as well as two other REG recommended charities the Against Malaria Foundation and GiveDirectly. There are currently $200,000 in matching funds available. To have your donation matched, email a donation receipt to receiptsforcharity@gmail.com. Your donation will be recorded and matched once the donation drive is complete. For any questions about the charity drive, please email Dan Smith at receiptsforcharity@gmail.com, or check out his blog for additional details.

Read more:

GiveWell summary of SCI

Why I mostly believe in worms” – in-depth discussion of the evidence for the effectiveness of deworming programs on the GiveWell blogs

SCI website