SCI Foundation

SCI Foundation

SCI Foundation (formerly known as the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative) works with governments in sub-Saharan African countries to develop effective programmes aimed at eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Its focus is on reducing and treating parasitic worm infections — schistosomiasis and intestinal worms.

What does SCI Foundation do?

SCI Foundation’s mission is to “prevent and treat neglected infectious diseases through strengthening impactful and comprehensive health programmes.” It “aim[s] to improve the health of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world” and envisions a world free of preventable disease, in which everyone everywhere can reach their full potential.”

SCI Foundation focuses on creating sustainable programmes that break transmission cycles at the source to eliminate disease and infection.

To that end, SCI Foundation:

  • Supports governments in sub-Saharan African countries in developing effective programmes to reduce parasitic worm infections, including schistosomiasis, hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm.
  • Promotes “country ownership” of NTD programmes by working with governments to sustainably strengthen health systems and environmental conditions.
  • Adopts a multi-pronged strategy towards NTD elimination, including WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) initiatives and a One Health approach (acknowledging the intersection of animal, human, and environmental health in disease control and prevention).
  • Engages in research to help guide its work and the work of its partners.
  • Helps ministries of health monitor and evaluate programmes to better evaluate impact, develop context-specific interventions, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Reports on impact and funding allocations.

Fast facts

  • SCI Foundation was a GiveWell top charity from 2011-2022, until GiveWell updated its criteria.(GiveWell’s previous reviews, blog posts, and conversation notes from its evaluations of SCI Foundation can be found here.)
  • Open Philanthropy has awarded several grants to SCI Foundation, including over $3 million USD in 2021.
  • SCI Foundation reports that schistosomiasis causes around 200,000 deaths each year, and that only 44% of those who needed schistosomiasis treatment received it in 2020, leaving 131.2 million people untreated.
  • In 2021-2022, SCI Foundation reports reaching 52.2 million people and supporting 63 million treatments. It also reports supporting more treatments (55% of total global schistosomiasis treatments) than other similar organisations.
  • Some research shows that deworming has positive effects on school attendance, income earnings, and economic growth. There is also some uncertainty surrounding findings that link deworming programs to improved life outcomes — see GiveWell’s in-depth look.
  • GiveWell estimates deworming to be “highly cost-effective” and states that it “expect[s] to continue supporting deworming through grants from our All Grants Fund, as there continue to be funding opportunities in deworming that exceed our cost-effectiveness threshold.”

Why do we list SCI Foundation on our donation platform?

SCI Foundation meets our criteria to be listed on our platform because:

We intend to reevaluate the status of all charities we currently list working on deworming programmes after one of our other trusted evaluators, Founders Pledge, publishes their review of deworming’s cost-effectiveness.

To learn more about SCI Foundation, we recommend reading GiveWell's review. You can also check our page on improving human wellbeing.

Giving What We Can does not take any fees from donors using our platform or from charities listed on our platform. We are independently funded to promote our mission of making giving effectively and significantly a cultural norm. Read more on our transparency page.
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