World health organization

10 facts on guinea-worm disease

Village women harvest grain in a field.

Guinea-worm disease does not kill, but infected people become non-functional for months. Since the peak transmission period often coincides with the agricultural season, fields are left untended and food production level goes down. In Mali, guinea-worm disease is called "the disease of the empty granary." As adults lie sick, older children must take on the household chores and miss months of schooling. Smaller children might miss vital vaccinations.

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