Dracunculiasis eradication: delayed, not denied.

D R Hopkins Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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E Ruiz-Tiben Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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T K Ruebush Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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N Diallo Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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A Agle Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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P C Withers Jr Global 2000 Program of The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.

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By the end of 1998, Asia was free of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease), with Pakistan, India, and Yemen having interrupted transmission in 1993, 1996, and 1997, respectively. Transmission of the disease was also interrupted in Cameroon and Senegal during 1997. Chad reported only 3 cases during 1998. Dracunculiasis is now confined to only 13 countries in Africa. The overall number of cases has been reduced by more than 97% from the 3.2 million cases estimated to have occurred in 1986 to 78,557 cases reported in 1998. Because the civil war in Sudan remains the major impediment to eradication of dracunculiasis, the interim goal is to stop all transmission outside that country by the end of 2000. The most important operational need now is for national programs to improve the frequency and quality of supervision of village-based health workers in order to enhance the sensitivity of surveillance and effectiveness of case containment.

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