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Guinea worm wrap-up ; # 170, February 26, 2007
  • Published Date:
    February 26, 2007
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-858.60 KB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    WHO Collaborating Center for Research, Training and Eradication of Dracunculiasis. ; Emory University. Carter Center ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
  • Description:
    Co-incident with a visit to Ghana by Former U.S. President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter on February 6-9, Ghana awoke to the news that more than 1,000 cases of dracunculiasis were detected in the country in January 2007, compared to 622 cases in January 2006. The Northern Region’s Savelugu-Nanton District alone reported 656 of the new cases (vs. 99 cases in January 2006), including 533 cases in the district capital of Savelugu (population ~25,000) itself (vs. 29 cases in January 2006). Having reported a total of 4,136 cases in calendar year 2006, which was the second-highest number of cases after Sudan in a year during which Ghana’s immediate neighbors Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo together reported a total of only 33 indigenous cases, this latest news underscored dramatically the challenge that Ghana must overcome in this otherwise festive year of the Golden Jubilee of its political independence. The Northern Region’s disastrous regression is the combined result of a complete breakdown in the water supply of the Northern Region’s capital, Tamale, in March 2006, during which vendors sold contaminated water to unsuspecting households (including in Savelugu, which normally receives drinking water via a pipeline from nearby Tamale), and inadequate interventions against transmission of Guinea worm disease by the Northern Region in recent years. For the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program, this latest explosion of cases in the Northern Region is also a threat to Ghana’s neighbors, as well as an unexpected financial distraction from support for activities in southern Sudan.

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