Nigeria recommended for guinea worm-free certification

News article 19 Jul 2013

The International Certification Team for Guinea Worm Eradication (ICT) will recommend Nigeria for guinea worm-free certification.

The leader of the team, LSTM’s Emeritus Professor and former Director David Molyneux, said this in Abuja while briefing the Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on the team’s findings.

It is expected that the certification will be awarded in December 2013.

“We’ll recommend to the International Commission for Disease Eradication that the risk of importation is minimal,” Molyneux said according to reports. “The knowledge of the world system and associated reporting room provides further evidence that there have been an absence of confirmed cases since 2008. Based on those comments, the national report, which states that Nigeria is free of the transmission, the confirmation by this statement is valid given the sample size of the visit.”

“Despite this recommendation that Nigeria is free of guinea worm transmission, it must be viewed in the global context of global eradication. And that means that conditions for stopping or reducing the amount of effort in guinea worm should be maintained; we must continue the surveillance,” Molyneux added. He pointed out that countries like Chad and Niger were still battling the endemic and warned the Federal Government against the risk of migration from such country.

Molyneux and his team visited 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 16 local government areas, 136 villages and also interviewed 16,030 people. He, however, stressed the need for continued health sensitisation, cross-border coordination as well as awareness. He urged the Federal Government to improve on rural water supply in order to sustain the health of the people, advising residents in areas where there was no clean water to boil their water before drinking.

Nigeria’s Minister of Health Chukwu assured that government would adhere to the recommendations as it looked forward to the official declaration later this year.