Uniting to Combat NTDs congratulates South Sudan on interrupting transmission of Guinea worm disease, following a 15-month absence of cases. The South Sudanese minister of health made this historic announcement at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia today (21 March 2018) with the World Health Organization.

“The people and government of South Sudan have achieved a great milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease.”

President Jimmy Carter, Carter Center

This exciting news in South Sudan continues the phenomenal success in the fight against Guinea worm disease. 30 years ago, 3.5 million people were affected by the disease on the African continent. Last year, that number had reduced to 30 in just two countries (Chad and Ethiopia), putting us closer than ever to eradicating Guinea worm disease from the planet.

Remarkable progress despite instability

Interrupting transmission of Guinea worm would be a significant achievement for any country, but for South Sudan it’s even more remarkable. The world’s newest country has faced insecurity and political instability for a number of years, but the dedicated partners continued to work together to stop Guinea worm and improve the lives of the people of South Sudan.

20,582 reported cases in South Sudan in 2006 Zero reported cases in South Sudan in 2017
5 children stand at a Guinea worm event.

© Carter Center

“This achievement by South Sudan in interrupting transmission of Guinea worm is truly extraordinary. Without the commitment of a diverse group of partners, this would never have been achieved. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Director of the Uniting to Combat NTDs support centre

On the road to elimination certification

The next step is to work with the World Health Organization to officially certify the elimination of Guinea worm disease from South Sudan.

“We look forward to certification by the WHO in the next few years that South Sudan has won the battle against this ancient scourge. We are within reach of a world free of Guinea worm disease.”

President Jimmy Carter, Carter Center

Learn more on the Carter Center website.