As Guinea worm eradication programmes have got under way in endemic countries over the last decade, there has been a shift towards more participatory methods. The approach to surveillance has changed from periodic cross-sectional surveys to monthly village-based reporting of cases by a volunteer village health worker. At the same time, the emphasis regarding control interventions has moved from the provision of safe water supplies to health education. The new approach has proved very effective. The village health volunteers who carry out both surveillance and health education seem to be motivated largely by the social status of their role; still more commitment will be required of them in the final stages of eradication. It is to be hoped that the networks of village health workers established for Guinea worm eradication will find a useful role in health promotion after the worms have gone.