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Despite History Of Conflict, South Sudan Makes Significant Progress Toward Eradicating Guinea Worm Disease

The Lancet: Good news for the world’s newest nation
Editorial Board

“Despite South Sudan’s crippling civil war, the country has interrupted the transmission of Guinea worm disease, announced the Carter Center on March 21. This disease is now on the edge of eradication, with only six countries reporting low rates of infection. … [T]he history of efforts against Guinea worm disease is entwined in the civil wars that have afflicted [Sudan and South Sudan] for more than 50 years. Although both governments have been criticized for fueling ethnic clashes, consistent government support [for preventive public health measures] has been pivotal in South Sudan’s victory against Guinea worm disease. This success is also founded on the concerted efforts of the Carter Center. … South Sudan’s accomplishment shows that even in the most precarious situations, substantial progress against Guinea worm disease is possible” (3/31).