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Insecurities and Dogs: An Obstacle to the Eradication of Dracunculiasis

Aja Kalu* and Nwufo Amanda

Dracunculiasis is a parasitic worm infection also known as Guinea Worm Disease (GWD). It is caused by a nematode called Dracunculiasis Medinensis. It belongs to a group of communicable disease named Neglected Tropic Disease (NTD). Dracunculiasis is caused by drinking water contaminated with the vector copepods (water fleas). Although the disease is not fatal, the sores caused by the emerging worm in the lower limb, can become secondary infected and complications such as sepsis, tetanus can ensue. Also, the sores can cause abscess and cellulitis, leaving the individual incapacitated for weeks which extends beyond the emergence of the worm. Over the last three decades, the prevalence of Guinea worm disease has reduced drastically through cost effective intervention provided by The Cater Center, WHO, UNICEF with the disease targeted for eradication. Some African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya being the most recent, have eliminated the disease. Guinea worm is still present in Chad, Cameroon, Mali, Ethiopia where political instability, social inequalities and infection of dogs by the worm pose an increasing threat and obstacle to the elimination of the disease. Dracunculiasis represents a disease that can be eradicated without a drug or vaccine but with a cost-effective intervention that involves community efforts.

Published Date: 2021-03-26; Received Date: 2021-03-05