|Description:||This image depicts the painful suffering of a young girl named Akouma, living in the village of Agbande in the Dofelgou District of Northern Togo, and who is infected with Guinea worm, Dracunculus medinensis. A Guinea worm field nurse named Golda is extracting an adult worm from the girl’s lower right leg. The Guinea worm has migrated, over a period of approximately one year, to its site of emergence to release its eggs in a local pond or stream. Before the worm emerges, a blister develops on the skin. This blister causes a very painful burning sensation, and eventually (within 24 - 72hrs) ruptures. Once the white, spaghetti-like worm emerges from the wound, it is pulled out only a few centimeters each day, and wrapped around a small stick or piece of gauze. Sometimes a worm can be pulled out completely within a few days, but this painful process often takes weeks.|
Provide communities with safe sources of drinking water (such as from borehole or hand-dug wells), or have existing dysfunctional ones repaired. Because Guinea worm disease (GWD) can only be transmitted through drinking contaminated water, educating people to follow these simple control measures can completely prevent illness and eliminate transmission of the disease:
- Prevent persons with an open Guinea worm ulcer from entering ponds and wells used for drinking water.
- Always filter drinking water, using a household cloth filter or pipe filter, to remove the water fleas which harbor the infective Guinea worm larvae.
- Treat unsafe sources of drinking water with an approved larvicide, such as ABATE®, that kills water fleas.
- Provide communities with safe sources of drinking water (such as from borehole or hand-dug wells), or have existing dysfunctional ones repaired.