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Health News Sat, 17 Nov 2007

Wa East makes strides in guinea worm reduction

Bisikan (UW), Nov. 17, GNA- The Ghana Health Service has through a number of interventions reduced guinea worm infections from 260 cases in 2005 to only ten since the beginning of this year in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region. With the distribution of 11,047 cloth filters, 7,212 pipe filters as well as the abating of 91 water sources in the endemic communities of the district, communities that reported cases of the disease reduced from 24 in 2005 to only four this year. Mr Samuel Naah Yendor, District Guinea Worm Coordinator made this known on Friday when he gave an update of the guinea worm situation in the Wa East District, which is one of the most endemic districts in the country, at a durbar of chiefs and people of Bisikan community in the district.

The durbar was aimed at educating the people on how to control guinea worm infections in the community, which recorded four out of the ten cases so far reported in the district this year. According to him, communities that reported cases of the disease in the district this year were Bisikan four cases, Gurumbelle three, Holumuni two and Naahaa one. Mr Yendor said Loggu, Funsi, Yaala and Kundugu sub-districts have eradicated guinea worm totally from their communities, saying that, it was an indication of the district's determination of eradicating the disease by 2009.

Ducie, which was Ghana's second most endemic village with an annual average of 85 cases of guinea worm has not recorded any case since July 2006. Mr Joseph Bolibie, Wa East District Director of Health Services, noted that the lack of adequate potable water in endemic communities, ignorance, poor community participation in guinea worm prevention were the major factors that promoted the un-ending cycle of infection and re-infection in the district.

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He said the case containment centre at Ducie has contributed to the reduction of infections in the district.

The objective of the durbar, he said was to create awareness and sensitize community members on the various methods of prevention and also to dialogue with them on how to create their own norms for preventing infections and promote community participation in intervention activities. Mr Issahaku Mahama Adams, Wa East District Chief Executive said the Assembly would provide 21 boreholes to needy communities in the district next year. He appealed to the people to patronize the National Health Insurance Scheme since it was only through it that they could be assured of affordable health care without.

Source: GNA