Carter targeted diseases primarily affecting the poor in remote areas — notably "Guinea worm disease." Because of his commitment, case numbers plummeted from 3.6 million a year to just 13 in 2022.
When The Carter Center assumed leadership of the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, about 3.5 million human cases occurred annually in 21 countries in Africa and Asia. Now, there are roughly 13 human cases.
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The Carter Center said Tuesday that only 13 human cases of Guinea worm disease were reported worldwide last year. After decades of progress, the eradication program's director cautioned the end phase of the global effort to eradicate the parasitic disease will be "the most difficult."
Former President Jimmy Carter says that Guinea worm may soon be the second human disease eradicated in modern history.