Guinea worm wrap-up ; # 113, June 15, 2001
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  • Journal Article:
    Guinea worm wrap-up
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    U.S. Peace Corps volunteers attack guinea worm in five countries.

    U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in at least five countries are escalating their efforts in support of national Guinea Worm Eradication Programs (GWEP). “Worm Weeks” have already been held or are planned for later this year in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, and Togo. The “Worm Week” methodology was developed by PCV Michael Kinzer in Niger five years ago. In it, PCVs and national counterparts spend a week living in endemic villages while conducting intensive health education and community mobilization, as well as demonstrating and distributing cloth filters. Associate Peace Corps Director Claude Milogo reports that 40 PCVs in Burkina Faso conducted their first Worm Week beginning April 16 this year in cooperation with the GWEP. The Worm Week was held in Ouahigouya District, which was Burkina Faso’s second-highest endemic area in 2000. In Cote d’Ivoire, PCVs and the GWEP conducted Worm “Weeks” in Dabakala May 30-June 1, and in Bouna June 3-5, in advance of the peak transmission seasons there. Those two sanitary districts reported the 6th and 2nd highest number of cases, respectively in Cote d’Ivoire in 2000. This program has been funded by Global 2000 of The Carter Center to conduct fifteen “Worm Days” in the most endemic villages this year. Worm days were conducted in February-June 2001 in 12 endemic villages which contained over 70% of all cases. Niger conducted Worm Weeks in Mirriah (Zinder Region) and in Tera (Tillabery Region) Districts, the two highest endemic districts in the country, during the week of May 24-June 2 (in Mirriah) and May 24-31(in Tera). In Mirriah, 30 teams of 21 U.S. and 13 Japanese volunteers (JOCVs) and their 34 Nigerien counterparts lived in 29 of the most endemic villages of the district. About 6,000 people were reached by these teams. In Tera 19 U.S., 1 JOVC, and 20 Nigerien counterparts lived in 20 of the most endemic villages for one week and reached about 8,000 people with their educational messages and distributed about 7,500 filters. A second Worm Week is planned for Zinder Region in late July or early August. The coordinators for Worm Week in Mirriah were Mr. Oumarou Brah and Dr. Siddo (ministry of health), Melissa McSwegin and Kelley Sams (PCVs), and Kaori Nishiyama (JOCV). In Tera the coordinator was Alison Mitchell (PCV), and Akiko Kageyama (JOCV). Ghana’s PCVs and GWEP plan to hold a Worm Week in Nanumba, Ghana’s highest endemic district, on October 6-13, 2001.

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