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S. Sudan halts transmission of Guinea Worm disease

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March 21, 2018 (ATLANTA/JUBA) - South Sudan has succeeded in interrupting transmission of Guinea worm disease, the country’s minister of health announced at The Carter Center on Wednesday.

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A young goat herder prepares to drink dam water through a filtration pipe provided by The Carter Center’s Guinea worm eradication program. (Photo: The Carter Center/L. Gubb)

“This is a great achievement for our young nation,” Riek Gai Kok, the country’s health minister told the global Guinea Worm eradication program’s 22nd annual review at the Atlanta-based center.

“Our health workers and thousands of volunteers have done exemplary work eliminating this disease across our country, and I have no doubt that the World Health Organization will grant certification in due time,” he added.

Since the end of February, South Sudan has reportedly recorded zero cases of Guinea worm disease for 15 consecutive months.

Because the Guinea worm life cycle is about a year, a 15-month absence of cases indicates interruption of transmission, officials said.

Ex-United State President Jimmy Carter, founder of the Cater Center, congratulated South Sudan for halting transmission of the disease.

“The people and government of South Sudan have achieved a great milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease,” said in Carter in a statement.

Carter, who negotiated the 1995 ceasefire during Sudan’s bloody civil war, the success in the fighting the deadly disease was the “fruit of good faith shown by all parties that agreed to the 1995 cease-fire during Sudan’s terrible civil war, allowing health workers to start a campaign of interventions against this horrible parasitic disease”.

“South Sudan’s success shows that people can collaborate for the common good. We look forward to certification by the WHO in the next few years that South Sudan has won the battle against this ancient scourge. We are within reach of a world free of Guinea worm disease,” stressed the ex-US leader.

The South Sudan Guinea Worm eradication program formally began operations after the 2005 peace accord ended Sudan’s civil war.

However, Southern Sudan, as it was known before it broke away from Sudan in July 2011, reportedly continued to build on this initial success, and Guinea Worm cases consequently declined sharply from 118,578 reported in 1996 to just 54,890 as reported in 2000.

In June 2015, the South Sudan Ministry of Health announced that the Guinea Worm eradication program had gone seven consecutive months without reporting a confirmed case of the deadly disease.

In 2016, South Sudan reported six cases of the disease, all of which were contained to prevent further spread. But with zero cases reported in 2017, these numbers, official said, represented great success for South Sudan, albeit continued efforts toward improved peace and stability will be vital to maintain the levels of surveillance and supervision necessary to ensure certification of elimination.

Meanwhile, war-torn South Sudan reported no cases in the entire 2017, only 11 years after starting with 20,582 reported cases in 2006.

However, as South Sudan enters the precertification stage, the only countries remaining to be certified are Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Mali, and Sudan.

(ST)

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  • 22 March 13:23, by Midit Mitot

    Riek Gai Kok Boys,

    This is what every citizens was expecting in the country an yet things have gone worse, I have question for you, Kiir and Taban are now in a bad mood, their friendship could erupted anytime, thereafter, Where will you run to or you will hind or sundering to Kiir again?

    repondre message

  • 27 March 16:29, by kirdanvaskal

    thats a really bad news. But the good news is that now https://www.tribsoft.com is here to help us in playing online games.

    repondre message

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