Dracunculiasis Eradication: End-Stage Challenges

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  • 1 The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • | 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

This report summarizes the status of the global Dracunculiasis Eradication Program as of the end of 2021. Dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) has been eliminated from 17 of 21 countries where it was endemic in 1986, when an estimated 3.5 million cases occurred worldwide. Only Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan reported cases in humans in 2021. Chad, Ethiopia, and Mali also reported indigenous infections of animals, mostly domestic dogs, with Dracunculus medinensis. Insecurity and infections in animals are the main obstacles remaining to interrupting dracunculiasis transmission completely.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Donald R. Hopkins, Guinea Worm Eradication Program, The Carter Center, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307. E-mail: shandal.sullivan@cartercenter.org

Financial support: Major funding for dracunculiasis eradication and its certification is provided to The Carter Center and WHO by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Alwaleed Philanthropies, and by many other donors to The Carter Center. Major support from the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, began with His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and has continued under HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The international companies BASF and Vestergaard’s LifeStraw have donated critical supplies of Abate larvicide and pipe and household cloth filters for use in the campaign. A full listing of supporters can be found at The Carter Center website: https://www.cartercenter.org/donate/corporate-government-foundation-partners.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Authors’ addresses: Donald R. Hopkins, Fernando J. Torres-Velez, and Adam Weiss, Guinea Worm Eradication Program, The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: shandal.sullivan@cartercenter.org, adam.weiss@cartercenter.org, and fernando.torres@cartercenter.org. Sarah G. H. Sapp, Reference Laboratory—Morphology, Parasitic Diseases Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: xyz6@cdc.gov. Kashef Ijaz, Health Programs, The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: kashef.ijaz@cartercenter.org.