Guinea worm disease is endemic in West Africa. In 1973 a field drug trial was conducted to compare effectiveness, cost, and side-effects of thiabendazole and metronidazole in treating active guinea worm disease and preventing latent worms from emerging. A mass chemotherapy campaign was planned to follow the drug trial. Only 15.5% of the treated patients expelled the worm completely, and in 28.4% of the cases worms continued to appear. Both drugs were equally unsatisfactory in their anti-helminthic effect. Consequently, our efforts to control guinea worm have shifted from chemotherapy to chemical control of cyclops and improvement of rural water supplies.