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Guinea Worm Surfaces in District

2007-07-26 22:08:17
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Frustration is read on the face and lips of the Northern regional minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, at the country’s inability to eradicate the guinea worm disease.

"I am inwardly shaken and highly disappointed that we cannot yet announce a break-through in our eradication effort".

"When we were parting after our meeting last year, we expressed the hope that we would break the transmission this year but unexpectedly, we have had a major outbreak in the Savelugu/Nanton District," he said.

Alhaji Idris expressed these sentiments at a mid-year review meeting of the Ghana Guinea Worm Eradication Programme in Tamale.

Health experts, donor agencies, DCEs and other stakeholders from the endemic districts of the region were attending the two-day meeting, which among other things would explore areas of collaboration to contain the disease.

Alhaji Idris said the resurgence of the disease in Savelugu/Nanton and other parts of the region, in spite of the various interventions, had impacted negatively on the socio-economic development of the country and called for "real commitment" to eradicate the disease.

He said the region recorded 98 per cent of all guinea worm cases in the country, a situation, he described as "unacceptable".

Alhaji Idris announced that the government would increase its budgetary allocation for guinea worm eradication from GH(550,000 (5.5 billion cedis) to GH(1 million (10 billion cedis) in the 2007/2008 fiscal year.

Dr Elias Sory, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, urged stakeholders to intensify their efforts to help eradicate the disease.

He called on them to remain transparent in their activities so that government and donor agencies would appreciate their work.

Dr Andrew Seidu Korkor, National Coordinator of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, commended the Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Assurances for its commitment to help eradicate the disease.

He was optimistic that with closer collaboration, commitment and zeal from the guinea worm communities, the country could eradicate the disease.


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