Author(s): Zakhary K
The construction of the Akosombo dam in 1964 and the Kpong dam in 1981 on the Volta River created the Volta Lake in Ghana, West Africa. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of dam construction on schistosomiasis prevalence. Several reports from numerous sources which together spanned a period of time from before the dams were built to recent years were analyzed. Four representative villages were chosen based on their locations with respect to the dams. Also examined were the efforts made by local health authorities to combat the current problem and to what degree their efforts have been successful. A marked rise in schistosomiasis prevalence following dam construction is observed in villages located in close proximity to the Volta Lake. In villages where aggressive action has been taken to correct this problem, a significant decrease in disease prevalence can be seen, demonstrating the importance of implementing proper disease control measures.