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In 1956, Mao Zedong began a mass campaign against schistosomiasis in the People's Republic of China. The campaign, which integrated mass mobilization, science, agricultural production, local construction projects, and prophylactic measures, was fueled primarily by a determination to accelerate China's agricultural development. The initial success of this campaign encouraged Mao to embark on the next stage of socialism, the Great Leap Forward. As attention was diverted away from schistosomiasis, however, the disease has again become a major burden to the health of the country.