Published On: Thu, Nov 1st, 2012

CDC Foundation honors former US President Jimmy Carter

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter received the 2012 CDC Foundation Hero Award at a ceremony Oct. 18 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC Foundation is honoring President Carter for three decades of visionary leadership focused on building international public-private partnerships to save lives, reduce suffering and provide hope for millions of the world’s poorest people, as well as for his commitment to achieving a more peaceful and healthy world for us all.

Former US President Jimmy Carter

Former US President Jimmy Carter CDC Foundation Video Screen Shot

After the eradication of smallpox was certified in 1980, CDC suggested that eradication of Guinea worm disease — transmitted only through contaminated drinking water — was achievable. In 1986, The Carter Center became the lead organization in the international effort to eradicate the disease, and since the disease has been reduced by more than 99 percent.

President Carter rallied support to eradicate Guinea worm disease country-by-country, inspiring top political leaders and village elders. Prevention efforts, made possible largely through international public-private partnerships, focus on education and improving access to safe drinking water. Village volunteers are the backbone of the program: they identify and contain cases, treat patients, distribute filters, and educate communities.

“President Carter’s vision and leadership have improved health, reduced suffering, and increased the security of millions of people throughout the world,” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director. “We at CDC are privileged to partner with President Carter and The Carter Center on many health initiatives that build hope for so many every day.  President Carter’s commitment and drive have made it possible for countless people worldwide to live long, healthy, and productive lives.”

Guinea worm disease once affected an estimated 3.5 million people in 21 countries. In 2011 there were fewer than 1,100 cases in four African countries. In 2012, partners expect to report fewer than 600 cases. Guinea worm disease is on track to become the second human disease ever to be eradicated.

The Carter Center also collaborates with CDC and other international partners on efforts to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), and to control the spread of malaria, schistosomiasis and trachoma. CDC and The Carter Center have made substantial progress toward elimination of river blindness in the Americas.

“We are honored to recognize President Carter for his dedication and leadership toward the eradication of Guinea worm disease, which is an amazing testament to the power of public health and the power of partnership,” says Charles Stokes, CDC Foundation president and CEO. “President Carter truly exemplifies the mission of CDC: to protect people and save lives from health, safety and security threats.”

Source: CDC Foundation News Release

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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