Neglected tropical diseases

In a historical first, WHO records zero cases of dracunculiasis in January

© Biswas Gautam/WHO
Volunteer in South Sudan teaching children how to avoid dracunculiasis infection
Geneva | 15 March 2013

For the first time since the beginning of the global dracunculiasis eradication campaign, the World Health Organization received no report of dracunculiasis transmission for an entire month.

Although cases are expected to surface, none was reported during the whole of January 2013 from any of the four remaining endemic countries (Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan).

Overall, the number of reported cases has continued to decrease steadily over the past few years, as endemic countries progressively scale up surveillance and case-containment activities.

During 2012, 542 cases were reported to WHO, compared with 1058 confirmed cases in 2011, representing a 49% decrease.

In 2012, 521 cases were reported from South Sudan, representing 96% of all cases.