Kenya gets WHO's Guinea worm-free certification | The Star, Kenya Skip to main content
May 25, 2018

Kenya gets WHO's Guinea worm-free certification

 Health Minister Sicily Kariuki during the function for the receipt of the Guinea worm-free certificate from the World Health Organization, May 17, 2018. /COURTESY
Health Minister Sicily Kariuki during the function for the receipt of the Guinea worm-free certificate from the World Health Organization, May 17, 2018. /COURTESY

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has received a WHO certificate declaring Kenya  free of Guinea worm infections.

A team from the World Health Organization, after an evaluation in February, said there was no evidence of its transmission in the past three years.

Tedros Adhanom, WHO Director General, made the announcement following the recommendation by the review team.

The International Commission for the Certification of the Dracunculiasis Eradication (ICCDE) presented the findings at a meeting in Geneva.

Read: WHO declares Kenya Guinea-worm free

During the presentation of the certificate in Nairobi on Thursday, Kariuki hoped for better things to come.

Kenya is the 41st country in the African region to be certified by the WHO as free of Guinea worm disease.

Guinea-worm disease, or dracunculiasis, is a crippling parasitic infection caused by a long, thread-like worm.

It is exclusively transmitted when people drink stagnant water contaminated with parasite-infected fleas.

Once inside the body, the larvae can mature into worms that grow up to a metre in length.

At least six countries in African are yet to be declared Guinea worm-free.

They are Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, South Sudan, Chad, and Ethiopia.

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