Guinea worm disease, is caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis and is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease.
The disease affects poor communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink. There is no drug treatment for Guinea worm disease nor a vaccine to prevent it.
AdvertisementNearly 3.5 million cases were reported in 1986 and it has come down to 126 with most of them in South Sudan and Mali.
Carter Center, works exclusively for the eradication of guinea worm disease. Dr. Jimmy Carter, former president, aims to swipe away the disease and is hopeful that they will be able to do away with it in two or three years time.
Initially, the Carter Center, visited all 26,300 villages, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa which have had guinea worm, to train people in dealing with it and preventing it.
Mr Carter said "The policy has traditionally been to control the disease and prevent blindness by targeting the microscopic worms. The adult worms would remain in the body and still need treating year after year."
The disease is deadly as the worm, which is about a meter long, penetrates into the body and stays within for about a month. It is most painful when it passes through the joints.
The Carter Center began an experiment in Latin America. We found that treating the disease more than once a year meant you could actually eliminate it.