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Fighting Disease

A single isolated case of Guinea worm disease was discovered in April 2018 in Angola, a country where the disease had never been detected before. Public health experts are seeking explanations for the parasite’s surprising appearance more than 1,000 miles from the nearest other cases. A second case in a different town was identified in early 2019.

Eliminating Guinea Worm Disease

Current status: Endemic
Indigenous cases reported in 2023: 0*
Animal infections reported in 2023: 85*

View current case totals >

Angola reported zero human cases of Guinea worm in 2023, 2022, and 2021. The country was officially declared endemic in 2020 after three consecutive years with confirmed infections, but the level of Guinea worm endemicity is still uncertain. Only three human cases and one infected dog have been detected since the first case was discovered in 2018, all in Namacunde and Cuvelai districts of Cunene Province between January and April: one human each year and a dog in 2019. Angola’s Ministry of Health established active community-based surveillance by trained village volunteers in 54 villages at risk starting in August 2020, assisted by the World Health Organization and The Carter Center.

The only human Guinea worm cases: In April 2018, an 8-year-old girl with an emerging Guinea worm was reported in Cunene province in south-central Angola, near the border with Namibia. No case of Guinea worm disease had ever been reported from Angola, including during colonial times. In January 2019, a 48-year-old woman in a different town in the same province reported a worm emerging from her leg; that worm was confirmed to be a Guinea worm. The country’s third confirmed case was reported in March 2020.

In February 2019, Angola President Joao Lourenco accepted former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s offer for The Carter Center to assist his country in Guinea Worm eradication efforts. In 2023, The Carter Center was invited to open a country office to assist the Ministry of Health's national Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

*All figures for humans and animals are provisional until officially confirmed, typically in March each year.

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