Guinea-worm disease returns to Ethiopia

Guinea-worm disease, an illness caused by a parasitic worm, spotted once again in Gambella Region of Ethiopia after two years.

The last time patients with Guinea-worm was 27 months ago, according to Gambella Region Health Bureau. The Bureau stated that over the last ten days seven cases of Guinea-worm disease are confirmed in Gog area in Gambella Region, which borders South Sudan.

No drug is available to prevent or heal this parasitic disease – exclusively associated with drinking contaminated water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile WHO says Guinea-worm illness is “rarely fatal and relatively easy to eliminate and eventually eradicate”.
Ethiopia has been working to eradicate the disease joining the WHO Guinea-worm eradication campaign.

The Southern Ethiopia and Gambella were the major areas affected by Guinea-worm disease. Meanwhile for the last 27 months no human case was reported though the disease was spotted on dogs and monkeys, according to Mr. Aragaw Lamesgen of Carter Center, the organization at the forefront of WHO’s campaign to eradicate the disease.