Fighting Disease: Mali
Guinea Worm Eradication Program
Current Status: Endemic
Indigenous cases reported in 2012 (provisional): 7
Dracunculiasis, or Guinea worm disease, is a preventable parasitic infection contracted when a person ingests drinking water from stagnant sources containing copepods (commonly referred to as water fleas) that harbor infective Guinea worm larvae. Inside a person's body, the larvae grow for a year, becoming thin threadlike worms up to 1 meter long. These worms create agonizingly painful blisters in the skin through which they slowly exit the body, preventing the victim from attending school, caring for children, or harvesting crops. Learn more about the historic Carter Center-led campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease >
In 1991, The Carter Center began working in conjunction with the Ministry of Health to eradicate Guinea worm disease in Mali. Since then, the Mali Guinea Worm Eradication Program has reduced Guinea worm disease from 16,024 cases in 1991 to 7 cases reported in 2012 (provisional). As of 2012, Mali was the third most endemic country remaining in the world, following South Sudan (which harbors the world's greatest burden of Guinea worm) and Chad. Read full text >
The leading cause of preventable blindness in the world, trachoma is an excruciating bacterial disease endemic to the poorest countries of the world. Although not typically a fatal disease, severe trachoma is disabling, debilitating, and eventually leads to blindness. The Carter Center supports trachoma control in six African countries in partnership with trachoma-endemic communities, ministries of health, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, Pfizer Inc., and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Learn more about the Carter Center's Trachoma Control Program >
Since 1999, The Carter Center has supported the National Prevention of Blindness Program of the Malian Ministry of Health to control trachoma, a major public health problem in the country. Read full text >
Led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug until his death in 2009, Sasakawa-Global 2000, a joint venture between the Carter Center's Global 2000 program and the Sasakawa Africa Association, helped farmers in Mali improve agricultural production. The prescription was simple: Provide farmers with credit for fertilizers and enhanced seeds to grow test plots. These test plots often yielded 200 to 400 percent more crops, and farmers went on to teach other farmers, creating a ripple effect to stimulate self-sufficiency.
The program was part of a larger initiative that helped over 8 million small-scale sub-Saharan African farmers in countries where malnutrition is a constant threat.
The Carter Center ended its agricultural activities in Mali in 2011.