Guinea Worm Outbreak Re-Emerges in Western Ethiopia

By Staff Reporter

Guinea-Worm-Disease-EthiopiaApril 30, 2020 ( -- Guinea Worm Disease (GWD) outbreak has re-emerged in Gog district and Dule districts in Gambella Regional State of western Ethiopia.

Kan Gatlowak, Gambella region’s health bureau head said seven people have been affected so far after the disease re-emerged this month.

According to the head, the disease has been affecting domestic and wild animals such as dogs and baboons over the past 27 months.

Kan said the region has been working hard to eradicate the disease, such as abating of ponds, providing potable water to remote areas as well as providing community awareness-raising programs.

The region’s effort to contain the outbreak is being affected by negligence and resistance among the communities when it comes to applying preventative measures.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, and Gambella region’s health bureau are working with the Carter Center to contain the spread as early as possible, the region’s press office quoted Argaw Lamesgin, Carter Center GWD eradication program manager.

WHO recognizes Ethiopia as one of the four Guinea Worm epidemic countries. The other three are Chad, South Sudan, and Mali. Gambella region is the only endemic region in the country for Guinea Worm Disease, according to WHO.

The last known New Guinea Worm Case in Ethiopia was confirmed in 2016 when three human cases, 14 dogs, and 2 baboon infections were reported in Gambella regional state.

In a survey conducted in 1994, the disease occurred in 99 places (70 in Gambella and 29 in SNNPR states) affecting 1129 people.

Meanwhile, the total number confirmed cases for coronavirus in Ethiopia has reached 130 after 4 additional individuals were reported positive.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the new confirmed cases were reported out of the 766 laboratory tests conducted over the past 24 hours.

Some eight people have also been recovered from the disease making the total number of recoveries in the country 58, the ministry added.

So far, Ethiopia has conducted 16, 434 COVID-19 laboratory tests for COVID-19 with 130 confirmed cases, three dead, and 58 recoveries.

In related news, police on Wednesday apprehended 78 people allegedly breached the state of emergency which was declared to stem the spread of the virus.

The people were found while chewing Khat in a small room in Akaki Subcity of Addis Ababa, and violating an article of the SoE that prohibits the gathering of more than four people.

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