Dr Webster’s work is featured in the video: ‘Detective work to tackle debilitating disease in Zanzibar’.
In this video, Dr Bonnie Webster and Dr Anouk Gouvras explain how Natural History Museum scientists are helping to eliminate one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases in Africa: schistosomiasis.
‘It was a bit of a detective story to work out why it occurs in the north part of the island and not in the south,’ says Dr Gouvras.
The parasitic disease is carried by aquatic snails. It causes a host of devastating problems for the 250 million people affected worldwide, from painful urination and stunted growth in childhood, to irreversible damage of vital organs.
The Museum team used their taxonomic expertise to identify the culprit and treat the affected areas in a targeted way.