Carter Center Slideshow: Sadia's Story

  • In 2007, Sadia Mesuna—a young girl from Savelugu town in Northern Ghana—spent two agonizing months in a Carter Center Guinea worm containment center with 20 other children suffering from the disease. Today, Sadia, 7, is Guinea worm-free and has returned to school. This is her story of triumph and a new life without fear. (All Photos: The Carter Center/ L. Gubb | Carter Center Slideshow) (2008)

  • Sadia Mesuna, 6, was in agony in February 2007 as three Guinea worms emerged from her feet, forcing her to spend two months at the containment center. "It was very painful, especially when they were dressing my wounds," Sadia said. "It feels more painful than stepping on fire coals or being cut. And you don't feel like eating anything."

  • After treatment, Sadia recovers in a quiet corner, also rediscovering her sense of humor as she dons a volunteer's sunglasses, worn upside down.

  • While at the containment center in 2007, Sadia and a friend, Fatawu Yakubu, look at a picture book about the dreaded disease, learning that "you get Guinea worm from the water. If you drink it unfiltered, you get Guinea worm," she said.

  • A year later, Sadia has no Guinea worm disease and can participate in her family's daily activities, such as collecting water.

  • At home with her grandmother, her mother, and two sisters, Sadia shells nuts from the farm, which they package and sell for income—activities she missed last year because she could barely walk due to Guinea worm disease.

  • Sadia returns some days to her school, but after her two-month absence with Guinea worm disease in 2007, she struggles to cope and catch up.

  • "I'll only drink filtered water from now on," vowed Sadia...

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