An Environmental Perspective of Dracunculiasis and the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme on Human Behaviour in the Northern Region of Ghana
This article examines the role dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease – GWD) and the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme (GWEP) played in changing community members’ behaviour towards the disease and their bio-physical environment. The research design that was used to collect data was the mixed method approach, in which questionnaire was administered, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was held, and key informant interviews conducted. Krejcie and Morgan’s formula for determining sample population for research was used to determine the sample population of the study area, which was 860. It was found that bedrock lithology made community members to resort to unsafe sources of drinking water which exposed them to GWD. It was also realized that the educational programmes which the GWEP brought along with it changed community members’ behaviour towards their bio-physical environment, which ultimately resulted in eradicating the disease in the study area. It was therefore recommended that in carrying out disease eradication or control programmes, the environmental protection agency should be involved in the process of educating community members on methods of improving on the integrity of their natural and built environment to enhance the overall health status of the community.
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