World Health Assembly (WHA) 64 ends
Calls for an annual report on status of eradicating dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
24 May 2011 | Geneva -- From 16 to 24 May 2011, some 2700 public health officials, delegates and ministers of health from WHO Member States gathered at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Discussions covered a wide range of public health issues, including proposed administrative and financial reforms at WHO.
At the end of the deliberations, 28 resolutions were adopted; these range from influenza preparedness to strengthening health systems to enhance wider access to public-health care.
One of these resolutions dealt with current progress in eradicating dracunculiasis, commonly known as guinea-worm disease. The resolution was adopted after the United States of America proposed an amendment, supported by Italy and the United Kingdom, calling for an annual report to be presented to the Health Assembly every year beginning in 2012.
Dracunculiasis is the second disease to approach eradication (the first being smallpox). Infection occurs only after people drink contaminated water. Previously, millions of infections occurred across Africa and Asia, mainly in remote poverty-stricken areas, with limited or no access to safe drinking-water.