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Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2013

River blindness, Guinea worm disease and more: The work and accomplishments of the Carter Center

The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health, according to their website.

Black Fly, Onchocerca volvulus, parasite responsible for River Blindness photo Wikipedia

Black Fly, Onchocerca volvulus, parasite responsible for River Blindness photo/USDA

In the area of health programs, the Center fights six preventable diseases — Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and malaria — by using health education and simple, low-cost methods.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak to the expert that directs all of the health programs of The Carter Center, Vice-President of Health Programs, Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H. (Listen Below).

During the interview, Dr. Hopkins discussed with me the river blindness (Onchocerciasis) program and the recent announcement of Colombia being the first country in the Americas to eliminate river blindness and is the first country in the world to apply for and be granted verification of elimination of river blindness by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In addition, Dr. Hopkins talked about the incredible success of the Guinea Worm eradication program and how this parasitic disease is soon to join smallpox to be eradicated from the planet.

A little closer to home, Hopkins talked about the malaria and lymphatic filariasis programs just to the south in Hispaniola.

The work by Dr. Hopkins and his team of tropical disease experts, and the dedication put forward by President and Mrs. Carter is to be commended.

This interview will be played on the Saturday, Aug. 31 airing of Dispatch Radio in the Tampa Bay area and on the internet.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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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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  1. The Top 10 Infectious Disease and Outbreak News stories of 2013 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] mention #1—Carter Center announces the number of Guinea worm cases reported in 2012 dropped to […]

  2. The Top 10 Infectious Disease and Outbreak News stories of 2013 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] mention #1–Carter Center announces the number of Guinea worm cases reported in 2012 dropped to […]

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