On Saturday, Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe announced the number of schistosomiasis cases has risen into the hundreds during a meeting on the topic, according to a Ministry of Health and Sports news release (computer translated). 

The first cases of schistosomiasis in the country were discovered in March 2018, with about 59 cases in Sittwe Town of Rakhine State. Now officials say that more than 500 cases have been seen Inle, Shan State and Rakhine.

Dr. Than Tun Aung states, “In Rakhine, the number of cases are highest in Pawktaw Town. A total of 8 townships are affected, including Ponnagyun and Sittwe. There are a total of 302 cases. Some cases [have also been reported] in Shwekyin of Bago Region. About 200 cases were also reported in Inn Lay area. All affected cases are now being treated with antihelminthics.” These drugs are rare, and supplies have been requested from the World Health Organization (WHO).

What is schistosomiasis?

Burma map
Myanmar Image/CIA

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