WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SEEKS MAP SUPPORT FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF THE ERADICATION OF GUINEA WORM IN COTE D’IVOIRE
ATLANTA (October 31, 2011) – In an effort to reach the certification of the eradication of Guinea worm in Côte d’Ivoire, a contingent of officials from the World Health Organization Afro and the Ministry of Health have paid a visit to MAP International Côte d’Ivoire office. The objective of this visit was to express appreciation for MAP International support for the eradication of Guinea worm in Cote d’Ivoire and encourage MAP to redouble its efforts to meet the government’s plans for a Guinea Worm free country by 2013.
Violence and civil unrest following elections early this year forced MAP and the government there to suspend some of its eradication programs. WHO cited this slowdown in programming as a large scale risk of experiencing a resurgence of new cases. The political unrest forced the
postponement of eradication certification until 2013.
Guinea worm disease is a parasitic infection caused by a long and thin roundworm. The infection begins when a person drinks stagnant water infested by the larvae of the guinea worm. According to the Carter Center in Atlanta,
there were 3.5 million cases of Guinea worm in 21 countries in Africa and Asia. Today, it is estimated that there are 1,800 cases in four African countries.
World Health Organization Afro representative, Dr Alhousseini Maiga, expressed confidence in MAP’s abilities to finish the work it started in 2001. Dr Julien Ake, Regional Director, MAP International West Africa, expressed the commitment of MAP to remain a major leader for the eradication of Guinea worm in Cote d’Ivoire.
“MAP, after years of work in the country, is committed to the eradication of this insidious disease which has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of a handful of neglected tropical diseases,” said Michael Nyenhuis, President and CEO of MAP. “We have the opportunity to make the Guinea worm the next human disease after small pox to be eradicated from the face of the earth. We are nearly there and we must continue our efforts to meet success in 2013”.
MAP International is a global Christian health organization that partners with people living in conditions of poverty to save lives and develop healthier families and communities. Recognized for its 99% efficiency rating, MAP responds to the needs of those it serves by providing medicines, preventing disease and promoting health to create real hope and lasting change.
Dr. Ravi Jayakaran; 404-492-6588; email@example.com