Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Guinea Worm nearly eradicated

I'd heard of dracunculiasis and seen photographs of the worms being painstakingly wound out of people's feet, but had no idea there was a project (just one of several posts about it) to eliminate it. The name is derived from the Latin "affliction with little dragons" and relates to the painful burning sensation experienced by the patient. It's also known as the fiery serpent. Youch!

Hats off to ex-president Jimmy Carter for having the will and skills to persuade those with the money and expertise to actually get something done. From (IIRC) 3.5 million cases a couple of decades ago, we're down to about 4,000, mostly in Ghana and Sudan.

Ah, but there's the rub. Sudan. How likely are they to be successful there in the next decade? I suppose it could have been worse, though. Could have been Somalia.

2 comments:

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

AArgh... I just can't imagine this. How dreadful. Catching up with you has been fun, thanks!! M xx

Rob Clack said...

Welcome back Margot, and isn't it fortunate we don't have unpleasant beasties like that in the UK.