as Wikipedia notes:
There are several varieties of this disease, which is caught from contaminated water, and requires a snail for it's life cycle.
In tropical countries, schistosomiasis is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases with the greatest economic impact. Schistosomiasis is listed as a neglected tropical disease.
One type is present in the southern Philippines.
We saw a lot of the version that nests in the bladder and GU tract in southern Africa but there are several types, all with low grade symptoms. In other words, like other parasites, it weakens you and sometimes makes you sick, but usually is not fatal: you just are too weak to fight off other infections.
the wikipedia artice blames modern irrigation for the presence of the snail and disease, but since humans have been using irrigation water for 5000 years, it has been around for a long time. PDF article on the investigation of the disease in ancient days.
live science article about the disease in ancient nubia 2000 years ago.
no, I will not include a picture of the disease or of the life cycle. Disgusting disease.
and yes the Gates foundation is making grants to countries to investigate the control of the diease and also to doctors to find easier treatments.