What We’ve Been Upto

The past couple weeks have been devoted to monitoring, updating my monitoring files (pretty much as fun as it sounds…), preparing for the rainy season, and  getting ready for our awesome Fellows who arrive on June 7th! Its hard to take pictures of these tasks, but I managed to snap a few, enjoy! Be prepared for a post with our updated monitoring results soon!

Shak showing the results of our water quality testing to a woman in Gidanturu. We like to do this to show people what happens with the water samples we take from their safe storage containers. Its fun to see their reactions when they see the difference between a test with their "safe water" and the dugout water!
Showing the water tests to some cute kiddos!
New signboard at Gidanturu - thank you village sponsor, Colleen and Jeff Clopeck!

The next few pictures are from an old Guinea Worm Containment Center. In order to prepare for the rainy season, our team went to check out some rainwater harvesting projects (in two of our villages, the paths to the dugouts, and therefore the water treatment centers, flood during the heavy rains. We are thinking about setting up rainwater harvesting systems to fill the polytanks with rainwater during this time – ill keep you posted!). We stopped by this containment center to look at their rainwater harvesting system and found out that the center had essentially been abandoned. Why? Because there haven’t been ANY Guinea Worm cases in this area in months! Such great news!

Guinea Worm is a horrendous water-related disease that has been endemic in Ghana for years. Due to the amazing Guinea Worm Eradication Campaign, led by the Carter Center, the number of Guinea Worm cases has drastically reduced – especially over the past few years. Shak visited this center in 2008 and said that there were so many patients that they had to put beds on the veranda. Not anymore! As the Carter Center explains on their website:

“Humans are a Guinea worm’s only host, so spread of the disease can be controlled by identifying all cases and modifying human behavior to prevent it from recurring.  Once all human cases are eliminated, the disease will be eradicated.”

I recently heard through the volunteer rumor mill that soon, it is going to be announced that Guinea Worm has been eradicated from Ghana!

Since humans are the only host for Guinea worm, these containment centers were built so that infected persons could be effectively treated and the disease could be kept from spreading

Empty Beds - wahoo!
Picture on the wall of the Guinea Worm Containment Center advertising the LifeStraw - a point-of-use intervention designed to filter out the water fleas that cause Guinea Worm

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