30 July 2011

No Guinea for Ghana

Congratulations to Ghana and the CDC, WHO, UNICEF, and Carter Center on the success of their efforts to eradicate Guinea Worm!!

What's Guinea Worm, you ask? Here's the CDC's diagram of the worm's life cycle:

Informative, but hardly explanatory of just how painful infections are, how completely they can destroy a community's ability to function since walking is often impossible when the worms are crawling out of your foot and most people in the developing world don't exactly have desk jobs. There's a certain grossness factor as well, one we Americans generally get to avoid thinking about.

But let's take a deep breath and try. Clean water, check. Freezer stocked with Breyers ice cream, check. A single moment of appreciation for how good we have it, bad economy or not? Yes.

I think that's the least we can do. And if you'd like to do more, Guinea Worm is still endemic in Southern Sudan. Read more here and consider fishing your spare change out of the sofa and sending it their way. A world without wormy feet would make a world of difference.

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