Kenya Medical

Guinea Worm

I saw this poster on the back of a shelter in Embu on the main Nairobi-Meru highway.


Now as it happens, I have seen someone with Guinea Worm Disease (Dracunculiasis if you must). I have seen lots of people. I have even removed a few female worms from their bodies. But in Burkina Faso, not Kenya, so I guess I am ineligible for the reward of 100,000/- Kenya Shillings. The proof?

My thumb and index finger. We didn’t use gloves back in the day.

There were only 30 reported cases last year in just two countries. I remember being told by Professor Richard Feacham at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that the disease would be eradicated “in the next few years”. That was in 1981.

But Kenyans can now relax, as WHO has declared Kenya “guinea worm free”.


By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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