Malaria, African trypanosomiasis, theileriosis, babesiosis and coccidiosis are of great public health and/or economic importance in eastern Africa. Leishmaniasis is an increasing problem in this area and other protozoal diseases which are found among human and/or livestock populations include toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, sarcocystosis, Balantidium coli infection and histomoniasis.
Control of the vector-borne parasitic protozoan diseases has been based mainly on the use of pesticides with their attendant, adverse effects on the environment.
The paper describes the public health and economic problems posed by the main protozoan diseases in eastern Africa and discusses their control, stressing the importance of environmental considerations when planning control measures. Further, a consideration of the public health impact of these diseases when drawing up, and during implementation of, major agricultural, hydro-electric or irrigation schemes, is emphasized. The possible effects of control measures on the social and economical welfare of local communities is highlighted.