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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Oct 28;60(42):1450-3.

Progress toward global eradication of dracunculiasis, January 2010-June 2011.


In 1986, the World Health Assembly (WHA) called for the elimination of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), a parasitic infection in humans caused by Dracunculus medinensis. At the time, an estimated 3.5 million cases were occurring annually in 20 countries in Africa and Asia, and 120 million persons were at risk for the disease. Because of slow mobilization in countries with endemic disease, the 1991 WHA goal to eradicate dracunculiasis globally by 1995 was not achieved. In 2004, WHA established a new target date of 2009 for global eradication; despite considerable progress, that target date also was not met. This report updates published and previously unpublished data and describes progress towards global eradication of dracunculiasis since January 2010. The number of indigenous cases of dracunculiasis worldwide decreased 44%, from 3,185 cases in 2009 to 1,793 in 2010. As of June 2011, dracunculiasis remained endemic in three countries (Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan). Of the 814 cases that occurred during January-June 2011, a total of 801 (98%) were reported from 358 villages in South Sudan. By October 2010, Ghana had gone 12 months without an indigenous case, thereby interrupting transmission; Ethiopia and Mali are close to interrupting transmission, as indicated by the small and declining numbers of cases in these two countries. An outbreak of 10 cases was discovered in Chad in 2010. The current target is to interrupt transmission in the remaining countries as soon as possible. Insecurity (e.g., sporadic violence or civil unrest) in areas of South Sudan and Mali, where dracunculiasis is endemic, poses the greatest threat to the success of the global dracunculiasis eradication campaign.

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