Topics: Carter Center, Dracunculiasis, Jimmy Carter Pages: 3 (736 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Dracunculiasis (Guinea-Worm Disease)

Throughout Africa, countries are taking the initiative to eradicate a disease caused by a parasite called the Guinea worm. The governments of these countries and an organization ran by former President Jimmy Carter are using the cheapest available mechanisms to fight the spread of these parasites in stagnant water and are raising awareness through multiple advertisements throughout affected parts of the countries. This troublesome disease plagues thousands of people living in poor countries that must use contaminated water to drink or bathe.

The life cycle of the worm is a relatively simple one. The worm starts off by producing larvae into stagnant water, where the larvae thrive. While the larvae live in the water, a person then may accidentally drink them, since filtering water is a difficult process in poor countries. Once in the body, the larvae mature into full grown worms by stealing nutrients throughout the human body it is inhabiting. After about a year, the worm (or even worms) exit the body through the skin, usually the lower leg or foot. “A large, extremely painful blister forms when the worm is ready to escape, and one or more of the worms emerge accompanied by a burning sensation.” (WHO) The victim then attempts to soothe the pain and burning sensation by putting their foot or leg into water. At this point, the worm can then escape or discard of larvae into the water and the cycle begins once again. Countries are trying to stop this process by having people report those that are believed to have the worm, and by filtering the water to get rid of the worms.

Regardless of the fact that the guinea worm is not a deadly disease, it causes an a extreme amount of pain and discomfort. For the amount of time that the person is experiencing the pain from the worm, they can sometimes be unable to function normally, which means others will have to take care of the duties that are not being completed. Treatment for...
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