Eradicating Guinea Worm Requires New Approaches, Reform
Undark: Three Decades Later, We’re Still Grappling With the Guinea Worm
Jordan Schermerhorn, analyst, researcher, and consultant
“…[T]he final push to full eradication of the [Guinea worm] parasite requires new approaches — including the implementation of better surveillance in at-risk communities, and more rigorous and field-informed scientific research. … The Guinea worm eradication program is deeply in need of reform. So how do we get there? First, assumptions must be tested. … Secondly, case searches must be creatively broadened. … Thirdly, the World Health Organization must update procedures for certifying a country as being free of Guinea worm disease. … I must temper these recommendations with political reality. Pressures to report success, both for endemic countries and international institutions, run contrary to comprehensiveness. … But efforts in this critical period may determine whether humanity ultimately succeeds in once more banishing a disease from the earth. In the face of this potential achievement, it would be a shame to linger in the realm of ‘almost'” (11/15).
The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.