|Description:||This 2003 image depicts a Ghanaian girl squatting at the edge of a dam, and drinking water directly from the local water source through a pipe filter. Similar to a straw, pipe filters are individual filtration devices, which allow people to filter their drinking water, in order to avoid contracting Guinea worm disease, while traveling, or working in the field. To prevent possible infection, all drinking water must be filtered in endemic areas to remove the microscopic copepods, or water fleas that carry the infective Guinea worm larvae.|
When the Guinea Worm Eradication Program began in 1986, there were approximately 3.5 million cases, crippling millions of people in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Since then, Guinea worm disease has been reduced by more than 99.7 percent. In 2005, only 10,674 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in nine countries – all in Africa. Today, coalition partners, in collaboration with thousands of dedicated community health workers, continue to intensify efforts as we fight the last fraction of 1 percent of Guinea worm disease.