Accra , March 3, GNA – The Ghana Heath Service (GHS) has denied that there is an outbreak of guinea worm in Upper West Akyem in the Eastern Region.
A visit by a team of the GHS and World Health Organisation (WHO) officials to Sukrong Bethlehem near Adeaso, in the Upper West Akyem district, after rumours of an outbreak, showed no case of Guinea Worm.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, the Programme Manager of Guinea Worm said the community had no history of Guinea Worm, hence; ‘the community is never endemic for Guinea Worm’.
He explained that visits were made to the only school in the community, the chiefs and elders of the community and the Assemblyman as well as the stream site.
Dr Asiedu-Bekoe noted that interactions with the chiefs, assemblyman as well as medical records showed no reported case of Guinea Worm.
The school pupils revealed that the community’s knowledge on the Guinea Worm disease and the cash reward was satisfactory.
“Their sources of drinking water were mainly pipe borne and a protected well, though people sometimes drink from an unprotected dam or stream’.
The school authorities denied any knowledge of the disease and stated that they had never had any reported case of Guinea Worm.
The team sampled about 50 pupils and none had seen a Guinea Worm.
Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said when the attention of the GHS and the World Health Organisation was drawn to the issue a team was immediately put together to visit the community and conduct field investigation and interaction with the people.
He explained that over 2000 cases of false worms had been sent to a reference laboratory in Atlanta, USA for confirmation, ‘but they all proved negative.’
Ghana was in January this year declared Guinea Worm Free after more than two decades of struggle to fight the disease which hit the rural areas of the country.
Transmission of the debilitating Guinea worm disease, which afflicted the rural poor, was finally interrupted in 2010.
The Jimmy Carter Foundation supported Ghana with financial and technical resources to see to the elimination of the disease.
Ghana is yet to receive the Certification from the WHO.
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