ARUSHA, TANZANIA– All six member countries of the East African Community (EAC) have been declared free from the Guinea worm disease after ‘zero cases were reported in South Sudan, according to the latest study report on the disease.
Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda were already certified free from the Guinea worm disease; with only South Sudan, the newest member of the EAC still under study by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This was revealed during the 30th African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of State and Government held this week in Addis Ababa where a meeting focused on issues of neglected tropical diseases.
It was observed that only 26 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in Africa by the end of 2017, a significant stride in eradicating the infectious disease, considering that 30 years ago the annual number of cases used to reach three million.
Guinea worm disease, which 30 years ago afflicted more than three million people in 20 countries is on the brink of eradication, suppression rate is at 98 per cent with just 26 cases in two countries, says the “United to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases” 2018 report. Guinea-worm Disease, also called Dracunculiasis, is an infection by the Guinea worm after a person drinks water containing water fleas infected with guinea-worm larvae.
The victim later develops a painful burning feeling as the female worm forms a blister on the skin, usually on a lower limb.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK