Ethiopia is close to eradicating Guinea Worm in Gog woreda of Gambella region

Gog, Gambella, December 18, 2016 (GMN) -- Ethiopia is close to eradicating Guinea worm, says the Director-General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Amha Kebede.

Noting that the number of persons infected by Guinea worm in the country has declined from 1,252 in 1994 to only three this year, he said that at present, the disease has been observed only in Gog Woreda (district) of Gambella Regional State in western Ethiopia.

The efforts made to eradicate Guinea worm in the past two decades had been impressive, said Amha here Thursday at a meeting with the Carter Centre's Health Programme Deputy President Dr Dean G. Sienko from the United States. Sienko said the centre's programme, which was launched to fight the disease, had been globally successful.

The number of people infected by the disease last year was 22, and this shows a massive progress in just a year, he added. According to him, the centre is working to eradicate the disease in Ethiopia next year. In 1986, the number of people infected by Guinea worm in 20 African and Asian countries was 3.5 million.

The disease, also known as dracunculiasis, is an infection caused after a person drinks water which contains water fleas infected with Guinea worm larvae. About one year later, the person develops a painful burning feeling as the female worm forms a blister in the skin, usually on the lower limb. The worm then comes out of the skin over the course of a few