"Female Genital Schistosomiasis: Gendered Tasks, Stigma and Reproductive Health in Africa "
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by five species of blood vessel -inhabiting flukes or flat worms, of the class Trematoda, genus Schistosoma (meaning “split-body”), and leads to acute and chronic health problems as well as other opportunistic diseases. Widespread in many agricultural countries, the relationship between daily domestic or farming tasks and infection remains a significant factor in control and treatment efforts. For African Women schistosomiasis is also a leading cause of female reproductive mortality and morbidity, causing high rates of infertility, ectopic pregnancies and low birth weights. Resembling symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, female genital schistosomiasis is often under reported among African Women, who fear accusations of promiscuity and communal stigmatization.