ONGWEDIVA - The World Health Organisation (WHO) team that was dispatched to Omusati Region has concluded that there were no guinea worms in the region.
The team was dispatched to Omusati after a case of guinea worms was detected in southern Angola, near the borders with Namibian.
The team has concluded its assessment and has presented its findings to the health directorate in Omusati, the Health Director in the Region Alfons Amoomo related.
“The team has concluded its work, however, there were no cases detected,” Amoomo said.
Amoomo said the team was in the region to carry out an assessment to see if there are cases of guinea worms and to enhance surveillance.
Furthermore, the WHO team also capacitated the health professionals in the region to enable them to identify and diagnose cases of guinea worms. WHO Technical Advisor Dr Joe Nakinpak Bariki-Laar who was heading the delegation said in February at a Hepatitis E research finding presentation in Omusati said the visit to the country was essential because Angolans frequent Namibian health facilities.
According to an article by WHO Guinea worms is caused by drinking contaminated water from ponds or shallow open wells.
Once such water is consumed, cyclops is dissolved by the stomach gastric acid and the larvae are released and migrate through the intestinal wall.
“After 100 days, the male and female meet and mate. The male becomes encapsulated and dies in the tissues while the female moves down the muscle planes. After about a year of the infection, the female worm emerges usually from the feet releasing thousands of larvae thus repeating the cycle,” WHO reports further.
Because the people may not have symptoms until over a year, someone infected with Guinea Worms may develop fever, swelling and pain a few days or hours before the worm makes its exit from the body.
Guinea worms not only affect people but also animals.