America’s former President, Jimmy Carter through his Carter Centre has made guinea worm in Africa almost a thing of the past with a drastic reduction in the prevalence rate of the disease. For this passionate humanitarian quest alongside his democratic/peace and human right missions, the 39th American President was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor and a Nobel Prize. As a preventive measure, he fostered sensitization forums and has over time distributed countless water filters to people in affected areas.
When the Carter Center began its quest to end guinea worm disease (GWD) in 1986, there were 3.5 million cases across Africa (and Asia). By the end of 2015, there were only 22 cases in twenty villages across West Africa- Occupy Democrats. Regardless of the restricting war factors in Mali and South Sudan, Jimmy Carter’s eradication course is still making a head way. Ethiopia for instance has consecutively had 3 cases in 2014 and 2015.
Owing to Carter’s eradication programmes all around the world, Guinea worm disease is about to be totally extinct on planet earth; polio falls into this category but small pox is the first to be completely eradicated. The Guinea worm disease also known in the medical field as Dracunculias is gotten by drinking contaminated water containing the guinea worm larva; dogs have also been found to contact it when they feed on the offals of infected animals. When ingested, the female worm develops, forms a blister on the limb and then painfully comes out from there, usually taking weeks to be out.
As his decades of relentless and selfless adventure finally pays off, Carter still implores for a keen and constant vigilance to ensure there are no loopholes in the back to back fight against this awful disease. Last year in a press conference he made known to the world his liver cancer status but more than that he expressed his wish to die knowing that the world is completely free of the disease- “I would like for the last guinea worm to die before I do”
In conjunction with international health bodies like WHO and UNICEF, a whooping 80 million infections and more have been prevented, and the prevalence cut by a humongous percentage. In direct translation, the ever virtuous Jimmy Carter has spared countless communities of the world from the painful and ravaging effects of Guinea worm prevalence.