The National Coordinator of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, Dr. Seidu Korkor, has said the increasing rate of the disease in the Northern region is as a result of the constant breakdown of water supply sources to inhabitants.
He therefore appealed to the authorities responsible to respond swiftly to emergency cases, especially regarding the supply of water in the Northern region to ensure that the disease was eradicated.
Dr Korkor said this when he addressed stakeholders in the guinea worm eradication programme at an inter-Agency Coordinating Meeting in Tamale on Thursday.
The meeting was for members to deliberate and dialogue to seek lasting solutions that would help reduce the incidence of the disease in the country, particularly from the Northern region.
Dr Korkor said there was a breakdown in the water supply system in both the Tamale metropolis and in Savelugu, which needed an urgent attention to as a measure to prevent people from contracting the disease.
Giving the statistics on the guinea worm situation in the region, he said at the end of May this year, the Northern region alone, recorded 2,705 reported cases as against 2,098 cases the same period last year.
He said the figure could be compared with the national figure of 2,799 cases of guinea worm, a 17 per cent increase in cases compared to 2,400 cases reported during the same period in 2006.
Dr Korkor called on stakeholders, community members and partner organisations to collectively collaborate and seek lasting solutions to the problem.
Mr. Issah Ketekewu, Deputy Northern Regional Minister called on the District Assemblies to implement the newly enacted by-laws on the disease with effect from June this year.
He said the by-laws were drawn by the guinea worm eradication outfit in collaboration with the District Assemblies and expressed the hope that, if they were enforced the fight against the disease would have a positive impact in the region.
Mr. Ketekewu appealed to the District Assemblies not to hesitate in sourcing funds from any available quarters to enable it carry out effective programmes on guinea worm eradication.
He called on chiefs and community members of the guinea worm endemic communities to commit themselves to combating the disease.