SCI Foundation

The SCI Foundation (SCI), or the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, is a non-profit initiative that works with governments in sub-Saharan African countries to develop sustainable programmes against parasitic worm infections (schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis).These diseases affect over 1 billion people in some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world, and are part of a group called Neglected Tropical Diseases. They can impair child development, reduce school attendance and productivity, increase the risk of HIV in women and lead to infertility and internal organ damage. If left untreated, the damage can be permanent. However, treatment is safe and effective. Early and regular treatment has the potential to reduce the damaging effects of infection, increase school attendance by 25% and increase future earnings by 40%. Treatment is also very cost-effective. Up to three people can be treated for as little as £1 with SCI-supported programmes. The international charity-evaluator GiveWell has recognised the SCI as one of the most cost-effective non-profits in the world.[citation needed]

Also, the impact of SCI-supported programmes can be seen very quickly. The number of people infected by these parasites can be reduced by up to 60% after just one round of treatment.[citation needed]

SCI continually conducts research to assess programme performance and investigate novel approaches to disease management. This ensures that control strategies are optimised and will ultimately lead to disease elimination.[citation needed]


In 2002, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Programme granted a £20 million award to establish the SCI at Imperial College London. SCI assisted the Ministries of Health and Education to deliver treatment for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in 6 countries, targeting school-aged children and adults at high risk of infection.[1]

In 2006, the SCI was a founding partner of the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases which promoted integration of control or elimination programmes against seven NTDs.

By 2007, the SCI had facilitated delivery of approximately 40 million treatments of praziquantel against schistosomiasis, and many more deworming doses of albendazole.

In 2010, SCI expanded its reach after the award of the management of ICOSA - a programme funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). ICOSA delivered 203 million treatments against schistosomiasis and STH in 10 sub-Saharan African countries by December 2018.

In April 2013, SCI announced that it had facilitated delivery of its 100 millionth treatment of praziquantel against schistosomiasis[2] thanks to funding from private donations which complemented the ICOSA award.

By 2016, SCI had reached an annual delivery of over 50 million treatments for schistosomiasis and STH.

By December 2018, the SCI had facilitated the delivery of its 200 millionth treatment against parasitic worm infections.

In August 2019, SCI became an independent charity, SCI Foundation.[3]


Further reading