Home | News    Friday 18 January 2013

Guinea Worm: S. Sudan world’s most affected, says Carter Center


By Julius N. Uma

January 17, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan remains the most Guinea Worm affected country in the world, with 521 cases out of the 542 reported worldwide last year, the Carter Center said on Thursday.

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Jimmy Carter (c) with the other panelist during the media roundtable, January 17, 2013 (Deborah Hakes/Carter Center)

The provisional Guinea worm totals for 2012, released by the US-based center, founded by former US President, Jimmy Carter, also indicates a 99% reduction of 10, 7 and 4 other cases in Chad, Mali and Ethiopia respectively.

President Carter, while addressing a visual press conference for a selected journalists on Thursday, described Guinea Worm as “terrible” disease-affecting humans, which needs eradication from communities.

“Having only 542 Guinea Worm cases worldwide in 2012 is a testament to the hard work of the endemic and formerly endemic communities, supported by The Carter Center and our partners,” said Carter, who has actively been involved in the fight against the disease since 1986.

“The collateral impact of this campaign is immense; it empowers people in some of the world’s most neglected communities to protect themselves from a terrible disease and to believe in the possibility of a brighter future,” he added.

Guinea worm disease, also known as dracunculiasis, is a parasitic infection caused by the nematode (roundworm) parasite Dracunculus medenisis. The disease, according to health officials, is contracted when people ingest drinking water from stagnant sources containing copepods (commonly referred to as water fleas) that harbour infective Guinea worm larvae.

Symptoms usually appear about one year after infection, with an adult
worm up to 100cms in length emerging from the body - usually from the
feet or legs - causing a painful blister and burning sensation on the
skin. However, infected patients often develop a secondary bacterial infection of the
wound, incapacitating them for weeks, even months

Last year’s statistics also show a tremendous decline in Guinea Worm cases worldwide, given that there were 3.5 million cases of Guinea worm in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, when The Carter Center began leading the international campaign nearly three decades back.

“According to projections from the Center for Global Development, the campaign has averted more than 80 million cases worldwide since 1986,” a statement from the Carter Center reads in part.

In South Sudan, Kapeota East County in Eastern Equatoria State is reportedly the worst affected region, with over 80% of the 521 reported cases. Others include remote locations south of Pibor County in Jonglei state and areas west of the River Nile.

The former US President, however, said efforts to eradicate the disease in South Sudan, will continue, despite notable cases of insecurity, adding the Carter Center achieved a 50% reduction in Guinea Worm cases between 2011 and 2012.

“One case of Guinea Worm in a village, if not addressed can spread to other parts of the community,” Carter noted.

Dr. Donald Hopkins, the Carter Center Vice President for Health Programs, said, “In any eradication effort, the final few cases are always the hardest and most expensive to wipe out, but we cannot stop until the job is done.”

He however said educating communities about Guinea worm prevention is vital to stopping the spread of the disease.

"If we leave even one case behind, this terrible disease can return to inflict immense suffering on some of the world’s most neglected people and communities," he added.

The Center, for more than a quarter century, has reportedly remained on the forefront of eradicating and eliminating neglected tropical diseases worldwide. To reaffirm its commitment, the Center was one of more than 60 signatories to the January 2012 London Declaration, a multi-organisational pledge to eliminate or control 10 diseases worldwide by 2020.


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  • 18 January 2013 08:24, by EES Kingmaker

    521 in EES out 542 of Guinea worn cases world-wide is unfortuntate. Guinea worm is a terrible disease. Carter Center must fight it to the last. The State and National Governments have also to join this crusade against this enemy of humanity.

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    • 18 January 2013 08:47, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      South Sudan can be the leading country in the world in Guinea Worm,come to Jonglei State Bor town see by yourself children from 9-13 years sill swimming inside the road side pool with green colour water,their parents are not saying any things as an advise to them we are still very back wards God Help South Sudan.

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      • 10 August 2013 07:36, by edisonleon

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    • 18 January 2013 10:52, by Peacocktail

      The Eradication is now a loop hole for securing some money by crazy niggers boys and girls who came from America in name of our Program, not for South Sudanese, Eradication will not be easy unless the Whole program is taken care by South Sudan and remove those Nigers boys and girls back to US frm Field.thy do nothing about preventing but they encourage to spread the disease to continue harvesting

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    • 18 January 2013 13:32, by Eastern

      EES Kingmaker, read the article once again. In summary, the says 542 cases out of 521 occured in South Sudan. 80% of the 521 cases are in Kapoeta East county. This means county alone bears the burden of about 417 cases and the remaining 104 cases are shared among the other counties such Awerial, Tonj East, Tonj South, Terekeka, Kapoeta South, Jur River, etc. I don’t work for Carter Center though.

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      • 19 January 2013 15:16, by above king of arabs/muslims

        The radication of such disease does need the involvement of the government not just carter foundation alone.all the areas affected by the disease need to be provided with bore holes or clean drinking water from other sources.

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    • 18 January 2013 13:37, by Eastern

      EES Kingmaker, the responsibility of eradicating guniea worms from South Sudan lies with South Sudanese not the Carter Center. As those South Sudanese whose counties are still ravaged by guniea worms to WAKE UP and stand to the occasion! Guinea worm cases were widespread in the past but not now in many places due change in lifestyle. You will be shocked by what you will see if you visit those.....

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      • 18 January 2013 13:41, by Eastern

        ...counties still recording cases of guinea worms. Let the government engage the communities in meaningful ways to eradicate the outdated disease from South Sudan! Carter Center is just helping. People and their government cannot leave the responsibility of eradicating the disease entirely to the Carter Center. I am glad the army is now involved in the eradicating effort of this worm.

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        • 18 January 2013 15:24, by EES Kingmaker

          I have read the article and got the gist of it. It is not 542 cases out of 521. It is simply 521(80%) out of 542 cases which represents the whole world. Whether the major prevalence is in Kapoeta counties, it is part of Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan, Africa and the world. I agree with your argument, the responsibility squarely lies with Governments of counties, State and South Sudan.

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          • 18 January 2013 15:29, by EES Kingmaker

            However, due to some agreement or limited capacities of our health services countrywide, the Carter centre came in as part of global partnership. Allowing Carter Centre alone and security of its staffs in Kapoeta Counties, shows political will and responsibility of different levels of Government. Do you think because the disease affects certain counties, they have to go it solo?

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            • 18 January 2013 15:31, by EES Kingmaker

              Brother, the devastation caused by the Guinea worm in those communities might have risen due to ignorance or certain cultural beliefs. But do those communities, shoulder the responsibilities alone? Who do you think should create awareness such they wake up and change their lifestyles that allow the multiplication of the disease? I have gone to many areas of Kapoeta my friend, even as recent as —

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              • 18 January 2013 15:35, by EES Kingmaker

                November, 2012. I saw the situation there. It is really bad. This is why I was saying, the Governments at different level should combat the disease come in different forms. First work with Carter Centre to eradicate the disease. Second, is to engage communities and massively sensitize them. Third, involve our armed forces and different sectors of population, within or outside Kapoeta.

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                • 18 January 2013 15:37, by EES Kingmaker

                  Third, involve our armed forces and different sectors of population, within or outside Kapoeta. In case, we can easily eradicate or wipe out this disease once and for all.

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  • 18 January 2013 09:47, by master

    the warse not to come yet
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      • 18 January 2013 17:19, by Northern Sudanese

        Nuer Empire
        you fucking dark bold headed insect! speaking about poverty over 90% of you disgusting smelly dark insects live in poverty, go to the nearest doctor to make sure there is no work scrolling throughout your empty brains, oh wait i forgot, you have no doctors in south sudan looool

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      • 18 January 2013 17:19, by Northern Sudanese

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        you fucking dark bold headed insect! speaking about poverty over 90% of you disgusting smelly dark insects live in poverty, go to the nearest doctor to make sure there is no work scrolling throughout your empty brains, oh wait i forgot, you have no doctors in south sudan looool

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        • 18 January 2013 21:13, by Northern Sudanese

          go to the nearest doctor to make sure there is no ’’worm’’ scrolling throughout your empty brains :D

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        • 19 January 2013 15:28, by above king of arabs/muslims

          Mr white wannabe why does the mentioning of sawood / snoop irritate you to the point of the calling someone insect. Perhaps if he is insect than you are too. Also someone brain would not use such terms to describe his/her fellow human being.

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    Ironically, insects talking about Sawoot smell, you know what, I do have Sawoot and I prefer its smell more than your stinky killing smell.

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