Volume 9, Issue 2 (6-2021)                   JoMMID 2021, 9(2): 55-61 | Back to browse issues page

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School of Public Health, Georgia State University
Abstract:   (482 Views)
For several generations, people from some parts of Ghana have suffered in the hands of a yard-long "spaghetti-thin" worm, known as Dracunculus medinensis, which infects humans and leads to a disease known as Dracunculiasis, literally meaning "afflictions with little dragons." The disease, also commonly known as Guinea Worm Disease, Dracuntiasis, or Dracunculosis, is a 3000-year-old known parasitic infection that rarely made headlines before the mid-1980s. Guinea Worm Disease, a plague so ancient that it is believed to be the "fiery serpent torturing the Israelites in the desert," as described in the Old Testament. This paper reviews local and global efforts and strategies at eradicating the disease in Ghana and further diagnoses the problems that hindered the early realization of the desired results of these strategies. This article did not evaluate Ghana's performance in the program. It is equally arduous to unearth all the reasons contributing to the somewhat uneasy road to eradication over three decades of efforts. This review analyzes time-trends, program documents, technical and non-technical reports, and research documents that reveal that Ghana's program ended a decade of disappointing stagnation following the disruptive ethnic conflicts in the early 1990s in its most disease-endemic areas. Despite substantial reductions in the number of guinea worm cases during the mid-1980s, efforts to break the transmission chain in Ghana remained a daunting task. The efforts required continued international and political commitment, active surveillance, strengthening of interventions, and honesty of documenters at all levels.
Full-Text [PDF 984 kb]   (125 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Review article | Subject: Infectious diseases and public health
Received: 2021/05/13 | Accepted: 2021/06/14 | Published: 2021/08/29

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