Back to search

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the activities of the Schistosomiasis Control Program in Brazil: is the goal of controlling the disease by 2030 at risk?


Background: Schistosomiasis continues to represent a serious public health problem in Brazil. With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, several control strategies were suspended, probably compromising the goals of eradicating the disease in the country. We aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Schistosomiasis Control Program (PCE) actions in all endemic states of Brazil.

Methods: We performed an ecological study using spatial analysis techniques. The PCE variables assessed were the population surveyed, the number of Kato–Katz tests, positive cases of schistosomiasis and the percentage of cases treated between 2015 and 2021. The percent change was calculated to verify if there was an increase or decrease in 2020 and 2021, along with time trend analyses provided by the Joinpoint model. Spatial distribution maps were elaborated considering the percent change.

Results: The surveyed population decreased in 2020 (−65.38%) and 2021 (−37.94%) across Brazil. There was a proportional reduction in the number of Kato–Katz tests (2020, −67.48%; 2021, −40.52%), a decrease in the percentage of positive cases (2020, −71.16%; 2021, −40.5%) and a reduction in the percentage of treated cases (2020, −72.09%; 2021, −41.67%). Time trend analyses showed a decreasing trend in most PCE variables.

Conclusions: The PCE activities were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and PCE strategies must be urgently reviewed, focusing on investments in all endemic areas.

More information

Journal Article
Andrade LA
da Paz WS
Ramos RES
de Santana WNB
Juvêncio da Rocha T
Damasceno FS
Dantas dos Santos A
Tavares DDS
Feliciano do Carmo R
de Souza CDF
Negrão-Corrêa DA
Fujiwara RT
Silva-Júnior A
Porto WJN
Bezerra-Santos M