Bilharzia Treatment Programme

Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) is a disease which is acquired from swimming, wading or bathing in contaminated fresh water. Schistosomiasis affects over 200 million people worldwide, most of whom are children. The contamination is caused by flat worms(flukes) called schistosomes which are present in the lake water. People living by the lake and using the water on a daily basis develop bilharzia. This infection, if left untreated, can have a significant impact on the children's development. The health impact includes poor growth and cognition in affected children. Sponsored by Cavan County Council and others, the Bi-annual Bilharzia Treatment Programme has been run by in the local primary schools by The Billy Riordan Trust since 2006. Exposure to infection is incremental, and almost all children in high transmission areas will have been exposed to schistosome larvae by the age of 12 months. The prevalence and intensity increases as children grow up. Children attending the primary schools are treated each year in March and September .This programme ensures that children in the community are protected from this harmful infection.




Lost In Film screened Africa United on 28th Feb 2011 to raise money for a Malawi clinic, after one of their committee members worked there for four months in 2010. Cat Brewer is a nurse with 10 years experience and a particular interest in tropical diseases. In this presentation which was shown before the film, she shares her experiences of working in the clinic.


The sourcing and procurement of drugs continues to be both difficult and expensive in Malawi.

Patients presenting with Covid-19 symptoms have not, so far, been seen at the clinic. Social distancing, hand washing and community awareness campaigning is ongoing as we hope to avoid the virus.

With the ongoing drastic reduction of supply of electricity from the national grid, funded by Billys USA, we are solar powered in the clinic.