News / Africa

Ghana Joins 14 Other African Nations in Eradicating Guinea Worm

South Sudan has 99 percent of remaining cases

Ghana has joined 14 other African countries in eradicating Guinea worm disease.  The announcement from the Carter Center in Atlanta says the disease cycle has been broken after a 23-year nationwide battle.

“For us, it’s a very happy occasion that Ghana has now reported zero cases of Guinea worm disease for 14 consecutive months,” said the director of the Carter Center’s guinea worm eradication program, Dr. Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, adding that Ghana joins the group of 16 other countries that have eliminated the disease.

The African countries now free of Guinea worm are Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Mauritania, Uganda, Northern Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Senegal and Kenya.

A debilitating disease

The disease is caused by a roundworm which can grow up to three feet in length.  People become infected from drinking affected water which harbors the worm’s larvae.  No symptoms occur until about a year later, when the parasite exits through the skin, causing a painful blister from which the worm emerges. When the affected person seeks relief in water, the parasite releases the larvae, creating a vicious cycle.

African countries remaining endemic are Ethiopia, Mali and the Republic of South Sudan, which has 99% of the remaining cases.

Dr. Ruiz-Tiben said the Carter Center chose to combat this debilitating disease by working to keep it from “affecting the poorest of the poor, the forgotten people with this forgotten disease, in forgotten places in Africa and Asia because no one else was doing it”  and because of the Center’s belief that good health is a human right.  The Carter Center began the Guinea worm eradication campaign in 1986.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid