A study on perceptions, attitudes and treatment-seeking practices related to
schistosomiasis was conducted among the Wasukuma in the rural Magu district of Tanzania at the
shore of Lake Victoria where Schistosoma haematobium and mansoni infections are endemic. The study applied in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and a questionnaire survey among adults and primary school children. The perceived symptoms and causes were incongruous with the biomedical perspective and a number of respondents found schistosomiasis to be a shameful disease. Lack of diagnostic and curative services at the government health care facilities was common, but there was a willingness from the biomedical health care services to collaborate with the traditional healers. Recommendations to the District Health Management Team were: that collaboration between biomedical and traditional health care providers should be strengthened and that the government facilities’ diagnostic and curative capacity with regard to schistosomiasis should be upgraded. Culturally compatible health education programmes should be developed in collaboration with the local community.