Public health approaches to infectious disease
Public health approaches to infectious disease

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Public health approaches to infectious disease

5.2 Falling trends in guinea worm disease

Recognition of the seriousness of the guinea worm problem led the Indian government to initiate the first national dracunculiasis-elimination programme in 1982.

Similar programmes began later in Pakistan, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria, and in 1989 the WHO launched the global eradication campaign. The features of the campaigns will be described shortly but, for the moment, we will concentrate on the evidence of their success. The reduction in transmission of guinea worm disease in the first decade of the global campaign is illustrated by Figure 19.

Described image
Figure 19 Number of reported cases of guinea worm disease in various endemic countries, 1989–2001. Note that the vertical axis has a logarithmic scale.

Eradication in Pakistan was certified by the WHO in 1993, and India followed in 1996. It took several more years before it was eradicated in Uganda (2003), Nigeria (2008) and Ghana (2010) – bringing the total to 187 previously endemic regions and territories certified as free of dracunculiasis by the end of 2010.

In the whole of 2010 there were 1797 reported cases of the disease worldwide, and the number fell to just 1058 cases in the whole of 2011 in only four countries – Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan (WHO, 2012j).

The community actions that have interrupted guinea worm transmission so successfully can only be understood by first describing its complex life cycle.

SK320_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus