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In the 1980s, the Diama dam was built at the estuary of the Senegal river to prevent saltwater from flowing into agricultural lands and to provide electricity.
But the dam had unintended consequences – an upsurge of a water parasite called human schistosomiasis in villages upriver of the barrier. A neglected tropical disease spread by water snails, schistosomiasis – or schisto – is caused by worms. It damages internal organs and, in children, impairs growth and cognitive development.
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