|Description:||This 2004 image depicts a group of Ghanaian students learning how to protect themselves from Guinea worm disease (GWD) through the instruction of a Red Cross volunteer. The volunteer uses a wall mural painted on the side of a Guinea worm case containment center that describes GWD, its symptoms, and the methods one must practice in order to avoid human infection.|
The wall mural depicts three people discussing what the infected man in the middle must do, in order to treat his Guinea worm infection, as they stand on the banks of a contaminated pond. Note the Guinea worm emerging from the infected man’s left leg, as well as the filter cloth covering a water collection pot, filtering the collected pond water being poured into the pot by the woman to the right.
Each time a worm emerges, persons may be unable to work or resume daily activities for months. The emergence of the worm usually occurs during planting or harvesting season, causing people to suffer crop losses when they cannot tend to their fields. Parents who have active Guinea worm disease may not be able to care for their children. People suffer food shortages when they are unable to work. For example, southeastern Nigerian rice farmers lost $20 million USD in one year because of outbreaks of Guinea worm disease.