Title : Animal bodies and human bodies in the face of guinea worm vulnerability in endemic areas of Chad
The present reflection starts from an alarming observation of the epidemiological situation of Guinea worm disease in rural Chad despite institutional mobilizations. In 2010, 16 cases were reported in humans and more than 1000 dogs were infected in 2016. The number of infections in dogs has been steadily increasing, from 27 in 2012 to 55 in 2013, 113 in 2014, 503 in 2015, 1011 in 2016, 1040 in 2018. In 2020, 1508 canine infestations are reported and 767 in 2021. The objective of this research is to understand and explain the relationship between animal Guinea worm infections and human cases by linking the human, animal and environmental health issues. The data analyzed were collected from the field in various communities in Chad where Guinea worm disease is still prevalent. The study used mixed data collection techniques (direct observation, interviews, focus group, questionnaire). Some life stories were also used. To better support the analysis, two theories were used: the theory of social representations (Jodelet, 1989) and the theory of stigma (Goffman, 1975). The results indicate that Guinea worm, which used to develop only in humans through the consumption of infected ponds, is now found in animals (dogs and cats) through fish guts and other poorly cooked aquatic animals. It severely affects the body and imposes stigmatizing "monstrosities". Notwithstanding its multiple socio-economic consequences observed in humans and animals, rural communities continue to develop practices that do not favor the eradication of this scourge.
Keywords: Animal bodies, human bodies, vulnerability, Guinea worm, Chad