African coun­tries come to­gether to com­bat worm dis­ease

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - World News -

Ex­perts from the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda con­vened in En­tebbe, Uganda, to iden­tify and dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties to strengthen cross-bor­der in­ter­ven­tions for guinea worm dis­ease erad­i­ca­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants mapped a joint ac­tion plan for 2018 to strengthen sur­veil­lance, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­or­di­na­tion for guinea worm dis­ease erad­i­ca­tion. They fur­ther charted a strat­egy to strengthen cross-bor­der sur­veil­lance among refugees to pre­vent the dis­ease from spilling over to refugee host-com­mu­ni­ties. This is in line with the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion Re­gional Of­fice for Africa (WHOAFRO) cam­paign- fi­nal push, to stop trans­mis­sion of guinea worm dis­ease in Africa.

The Gov­ern­ment of Uganda is com­mit­ted to col­lab­o­rat­ing with Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo to at­tain guinea worm erad­i­ca­tion. The World Health Assem­bly (WHA) res­o­lu­tions call­ing for the erad­i­ca­tion of guinea worm dis­ease have seen the an­nual in­ci­dence of guinea worm dis­ease drop from, 883,640 cases in 1989 to 25 cases in 2016 in Africa. Forty coun­tries in Africa were cer­ti­fied for achiev­ing un­in­ter­rupted indige­nous trans­mis­sion, while three oth­ers are await­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

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