Schistosomiasis is being successfully controlled in many countries but remains a major public health problem, with an estimated 200 million people infected, mostly in Africa. Few countries in this region have undertaken successful and sustainable control programmes. The construction of water schemes to meet the power and agricultural requirements for development have lead to increasing transmission, especially of Schistosoma mansoni. Increasing population and movement have contributed to increased transmission and introduction of schistosomiasis to new areas. Most endemic countries are among the least developed whose health systems face difficulties to provide basic care at the primary health level. Constraints to control include, the lack of political commitment and infrastructure for public health interventions. Another constraint is that available anti-schistosomal drugs are expensive and the cost of individual treatment is a high proportion of the per capita drug budgets. There is need for increased support for schistosomiasis control in the most severely affected countries.