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Northern Region Records High Incidence of Guinea worm

2007-02-23 23:41:15
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There were 965 recorded cases of guinea worm in the Northern Region as at the end of January 2007, as against the 496 cases recorded during the same period last year. The figure represents an increase of about 96 per cent.

Savelugu-Nanton District recorded 667 cases, which was the highest followed by Tolon-Kumbungu District with 96 cases. Tamale Metropolis accounted for 82 cases to be the third most endemic in the Region. Mr Gilbert Dery, Regional Programme Officer in charge of Guinea worm Eradication Programme (GWEP), made this known to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tamale on Thursday. Explaining the reasons behind the increase, Mr Dery said guinea worm infection took place months before it manifested itself, adding that the afflicted persons noticed that they had been infected when the disease reached an advanced stage.

He said one case of guinea worm could account for several if it was not managed properly.

He said this year's campaign to eradicate the disease had been intensive and expressed optimism that the results would be felt in the following year.

Mr Dery said intensive health education through the mass media in various dialects; advocacy by village and community based educators who monitored and report on cases, were some of the strategies his outfit had adopted to ensure the eradication of the disease.

The Regional Programme Officer called on the people to ensure that they drank from safe water sources to help contain the disease. Meanwhile, Dr Andrew Seidu Korkor, National Coordinator of the GWEP, has appealed to the government for the early release of the 10 billion cedis budgeted for this year's guinea worm eradication programme. He said his outfit was still relying on last year's budget of five billion cedis, which was released in the last quarter of 2006. Dr Korkor said any further delay in the release of the funds would adversely impact on the operations of the Programme.


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