Implementation planning and cost-benefit analysis of guinea worm intervention programs are not inherently different than for any other health intervention. Guinea worm disease, however, has several characteristics that make it particularly amenable to intervention and thus attractive for analysis. These characteristics include, most importantly, the ease with which it is recognized and the vulnerability of its life cycle to interventions. As compared with diseases whose symptoms overlap with many other diseases, the emergence of a guinea worm is unmistakable. As compared with diseases that have multiple reservoirs from which infection can be transmitted, the guinea worm cycle is a "closed loop" consisting of infected human hosts and pools of water contaminated by the vector. The cycle can be broken with relative ease at several points, thus effectively interrupting disease transmission.
These guidelines describe an approach to using a computer-based implementation planning model for guinea worm control programs and an approach to cost-benefit/cost-effectiveness analysis for these programs.
The guidelines are not a "cookbook" for carrying out the implementation planning and cost-benefit approach that is described; however, it is hoped that host country mid-level analysts and program managers will be able to follow the general thrust of the approach and will be able to assess its potential for their needs. For interested programmers and planners with some experience, it should be possible to adapt the model software and approach to the particular conditions of a given program.
The resource link below redirects to the IRC (formerly IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre) website.