Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011.
October 24, 2013 Known as the "affliction with little dragons," Guinea worm is a nasty parasite that can grow up to 3 feet inside a person. A decades-long campaign to eliminate the worm is starting to pay off. There were only about 500 cases worldwide in 2012, and 89 cases in the first half of 2013.
A boy with multiple Guinea worms sits outside a containment center in northern Ghana, February 2007.
Wes Pope/Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov
January 19, 2013 After a decades-long campaign, Guinea worm remains in only four countries, and eradication is in sight. But health workers say that recent violence in Mali is hindering efforts to stamp out the last few cases there.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor