Forty percent of women are being infected with female genital bilharzia and health practitioners have no capacity to diagnose the disease owing to lack of knowledge and resources.

Female genital schistosomiasis is a form of bilharzia that is affecting mostly rural women.

The bilharzia affects the genital area of women and according to research the disease has been associated with cancer and infertility.

Government specialist consultant who is a gynaecologist at Gweru Provincial Hospital, Dr Veld Mushangwe said more than forty percent of women are infected by the disease which she said is difficult to diagnose and treat.

She revealed most health practitioners have no capacity to diagnose the disease because of lack of knowledge and resources.

Currently health personnel are using a pocket atlas, a booklet that helps them diagnose diseases.

The female genital bilharzia is caused by minute parasites that live in fresh water and can penetrate skin upon contact.