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Volume 98, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Despite several periods of stagnating guinea worm disease (GWD) incidence in Ghana during its national eradication campaign in the 1990s and early 2000s, the last reported case of GWD was in May 2010. In July 2011, Ghana celebrated the interruption of guinea worm (GW) transmission. Although it has been established that GWD causes disability, pain, and socioeconomic hardship, there is a dearth of population-based evidence collected in post-GW–endemic countries to document the value attributed to GWD eradication by residents in formerly endemic communities. Given Ghana’s recent history of GWD and a concentrated burden of the disease in its Northern Region, a pattern which remained true through to the final stage of the eradication campaign, seven villages in the Northern Region were targeted for a retrospective, cross-sectional study to detail the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs about the impact of eradication of GWD in northern Ghana. The study revealed that respondents from the sampled communities felt GW eradication improved their socioeconomic conditions, as the impact of infection prohibited the pursuit of individual and social advancement. The value residents placed on the absence of GWD highlights both the impact infection had on the pursuit of social and economic advancement and the newfound ability to be disease-free and productive. Of the 143 respondents, 133 had GWD in the past and were incapacitated for an average of 6 weeks annually per GW infection, with each infected person affected nearly four times in his or her lifetime.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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2018-07-23
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  • Received : 12 Jul 2017
  • Accepted : 27 Jan 2018

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