LifeStraw® Guinea Worm is a plastic pipe with a stainless steel mesh that filters out Guinea worm larvae from contaminated water. It has been a vital tool in global efforts, led by The Carter Center, to eradicate Guinea worm disease.
There is no vaccination or treatment for Guinea worm, yet much work has been done to prevent it by providing access to safe drinking water and education. The Carter Center has been the leading organization in the fight against Guinea worm. In 1996, Vestergaard began working with The Carter Center when the company created LifeStraw® Guinea Worm. The filter was the first LifeStraw® product and it provided inspiration for the award-winning LifeStraw® point-of-use water filters that followed.
Vestergaard has supplied more than 37 million LifeStraw® pipe and cloth filters to The Carter Center’s Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, and the disease has experienced a dramatic decrease.
- In 1986, an estimated 3.5 million people in 21 countries in Africa and Asia had Guinea worm disease.
- In 2014, there were 126 cases in four African countries: South Sudan, Chad, Mali and Ethiopia.
- As of December 2012, the World Health Organization had certified 192 countries and territories around the world as being free of the disease. It is likely that Guinea worm disease will be the second human disease in history (after smallpox) to be completely eradicated.
Photo credit: The Carter Center