Ghana is celebrating the eradication of Guinea worm disease, thanks in part to the Carter Center.
On July 28, Vice President John Mahama announced in Tamale, Ghana, that the country had 14 consecutive months of no indigenous cases of the worm disease.
President Carter offered his congratulations and said that this triumph showed that more countries could do away with the disease.
“Ghana’s triumph over Guinea worm disease serves as a reminder to the world and the remaining endemic countries that the greatest challenges can be overcome with hard work, political commitment and the support of the international community,” said Mr. Carter in a statement.
The Carter Center began leading an international campaign against the disease in 1986 and in the following year started a collaboration with Ghana to achieve this goal.
Nearly 180,000 cases were reported in 1989, ranking Ghana as the country with the second highest prevalence.
Guinea worm disease is contracted when people consume contaminated water. It mostly occurs in poor communities in Africa.
While there are no vaccines or medicines to treat the disease, it is combated by educating people on the importance drinking clean water and providing filtation technology.
The center is continuing to work in South Sudan, Mali and Ethiopia where the disease is still endemic.
For more information, visit http://www.cartercenter.org/health/guinea_worm/mini_site/index.html.