Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The Cameroon Guinea worm eradication program initiated case containment activities in 1991 in the Mayo-Sava Division, the only endemic region in the country. These activities differed from the Pakistan program, the only other operational model for dracunculiasis case containment, in two important ways. In Cameroon, next-level supervisors received reports of new cases from village health workers during routine weekly visits to endemic villages. The Pakistan program established a faster case reporting scheme that allowed higher level personnel (sector supervisors and regional managers) to confirm cases within one week of worm emergence. Second, in Cameroon case containment activities were extended only to villages reporting five or more cases the previous transmission season and villages with recent confirmed cases. In Pakistan, all villages reporting cases during the previous year were included in the program. A village-by-village case search one year after initiation of case containment in the Mayo-Sava indicated decreases of 60% in the number of cases and 51% in the number of villages reporting cases. Based on the apparent success of the efforts in Cameroon, we propose a two-stage scheme for implementation of case containment. Both stages are based on rapid detection and containment of cases, within 24 hr of worm emergence, by village-based health workers. In stage 1, cases are reported and confirmed during routine weekly visits to the endemic villages by next-level supervisors. Weekly reporting should be extended to all villages with recent confirmed cases and to as many villages reporting cases during the previous transmission season as logistically possible. If all villages cannot be covered, those reporting low numbers of cases the previous transmission season may be excluded. Stage 2 requires that the cases be reported immediately after detection to higher level personnel. All villages reporting cases during the past year are included in the program.


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