(from Voice of America, VOA)
Dracunculiasis, most commonly known as Guinea worm disease, is considered a Neglected Tropical Disease and is caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinensis. The disease affects poor communities in remote parts of Africa that do not have safe water to drink. There is no drug treatment for Guinea worm disease nor a vaccine to prevent it.
During January–December 2011, a provisional total of 1,060 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported from 483 villages worldwide, of which only 142 villages reported indigenous cases. This is a 41% reduction in worldwide cases compared to 2010. Ninety-seven percent of the cases in 2011 were reported from South Sudan (n=1,030) whereas only 3% of cases were reported from other countries: Mali reported 12 cases, Chad reported 10 cases, and Ethiopia reported 8 cases.