River Blindness Program Real Lives, Real Change
Feb. 11, 2013
Alidu Kemisa: Treatment Relieves Agony of River Blindness
Alidu Kemisa cannot seem to stop rubbing her arms and touching her head as she describes the symptoms that have plagued her for more than ten years: pain, intense itching, and roughening of her skin.
May 7, 2012
Meet Dr. Nabil Aziz Mikhail: Tireless Warrior Against Guinea Worm Disease, River Blindness in Sudan
Ask about the time he nearly died from cerebral malaria during a Guinea worm surveillance trip, or his supervisory visit to a town under siege, or the nights he spent stuck in a car with no food, little water, and once with three flat tires, and Dr. Nabil Aziz Mikhail will tell you he doesn't like to sit in his office.
April 9, 2012
The Carter Center at 30: Leader in Disease Eradication and Elimination
The Carter Center has become a global leader in the eradication and elimination of diseases, focusing efforts to build health and hope in some of the poorest and most isolated places on earth.
March 26, 2012
Meet Dr. Zerihun Tadesse Gebrelassie
Zerihun Tadesse Gebrelassie barely remembers his mother rushing his baby brother to a hospital in Ethiopia. Many patients, long lines, and few health workers made her wish she had a relative — maybe one who was a nurse — who could help her son. His little brother survived, but Dr. Zerihun says his mother never forgot that scene.
Jan. 3, 2012
Communities Rally to Stop River Blindness in Chiapas, Mexico
On a warm spring day in the state of Chiapas, villagers in the small hamlet of Jose Maria de Morelos walk uphill on the town's only paved road to reach a small complex of school buildings. But today is not a school day; today, the river blindness elimination brigade is meeting at the school.
May 1, 2011
Jozefa Ortiz Rosa: Medication Restores Sight, Brings Hope to Grandmother
When Jozefa Ortiz Rosa of Tarrales, Guatemala, started losing her vision, she worried about her future. Her husband had died years before, leaving her with six children to raise and a coffee crop to tend. Her older children had taken over the farming, but she still needed to care for her younger children and grandchildren.
March 14, 2011
As River Blindness Declines, Health Education Intensifies
Standing in the courtyard of his school in El Xab, Guatemala, his eyes blindfolded, a boy swings a large pole toward a flyshaped piñata. Schoolmates cheer for the boy, who looks about 9 years old. His friends hope that one well-placed strike will smash the fly, releasing oodles of candy. The adults in charge hope the children leave with something more than a handful of treats.
Dec. 20, 2010
Miracle Medicine Mends Nigerian Tailor's Eyesight
38-year-old Zaki Baushe holds a thin metal needle in his left hand as he deftly angles a thread through its eye. As a tailor in Akwanga local government area, Nasarawa State, Nigeria, it is an act that he has repeated thousands of times throughout his life. Yet several years ago, Baushe was in danger of losing this skill entirely.
Oct. 20, 2010
Making Inventions Out of Necessity to Fight River Blindness
Dedicated to fighting river blindness in his native Cameroon, Carter Center epidemiologist Philippe Nwane employs creativity and innovation to monitor the debilitating parasitic infection.
Aug. 1, 2010
Ugandan Man Helps Rid His Community of Onchocerciasis
In the early 1990s, fear dominated the community of Jawe parish, found in Mbale district, Uganda. The Jawe clan's neighboring parishes, Buryango and Bulweta, were being plagued by an unknown ailment that attacked a person's skin and eyes. The disease left its victims unable to care for themselves or their families.
May 25, 2010
Video Journal: Pioneering Approach Brings River Blindness To Brink of Elimination In Sudanese Community
Abu Hamad, a vast and isolated desert community 500 kilometers from the Sudanese capitol Khartoum, is on the verge of disproving a long-held belief among public health professionals that river blindness (onchocerciasis) cannot be eliminated in Africa due to poor health care delivery and the disease's prevalence.
May 1, 2010
Integrated Drug Treatment Saves Time, Money in Nigeria
Over the past three years, The Carter Center, in partnership with the Nigeria Ministry of Health, has introduced an innovative way of simultaneously treating several parasitic diseases in Nigeria. In this approach — known as triple-drug treatment — a health worker gives a community member three different medicines at one time that in combination treat river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and several kinds of intestinal worms. In the interview that follows, Frank Richards Jr., M.D., who directs the Center's programs for fighting these diseases, discusses the benefits of the triple-drug approach.
April 16, 2010
Meet Teshome Gebre: Lion of Disease Prevention in Ethiopia
Teshome Gebre, the Carter Center's country representative for health programs in Ethiopia, likes to joke that he has been in public health service for what seems like 100 years. Yet, it's impossible to ignore the great joy Teshome has received from a lifetime dedicated to fighting disease in his native Ethiopia.
Jan. 8, 2010
Profile From the Field: Dr. Mauricio Sauerbrey
If passion is a key ingredient for success, then Dr. Mauricio Sauerbrey embodies the necessary "stuff" for meeting the goal of interrupted transmission of river blindness — or onchocerciasis—in the Americas by 2012.
Dec. 8, 2009
Meet Alba Lucia Morales: Health Educator Fills Critical Role in Final Push Toward Onchocerciasis Elimination
For Alba Lucia Morales Castro, health education adviser with the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA) the Carter Center-sponsored river blindness elimination organization in Latin America the joy of working in the field is its own reward.
Jan. 4, 2008
Mustafa Mugwano: Welcomed Home, an Outcast Begins to Heal
Today, a visitor to the Mbale district of eastern Uganda might see Mustafa Mugwano happily plowing his fields in the lush farming village of Bunawazi. But two years ago, he would have been found living alone in the forests bordering the village.
Jan. 4, 2008
Pitasia Gonzales: Treatment Gives Hope for Grandchildren's Future
Pitasia Gonzales lives in rural Mexico with her daughters, in a home surrounded by coffee fields accessible only by foot. Like many of the women in her community, Gonzales was a strong and capable provider for her family, until river blindness stole her sight many years ago.
Oct. 1, 2007
Uganda Attempts Nationwide Elimination of River Blindness
River blindness is such a pervasive disease in Africa that many global experts believe it can only be controlled not eliminated. But Uganda has announced plans to rid the disease, despite hefty challenges.
July 31, 2007
I Sold My Roof: Farmer's Hope for Grandchildren Includes Futures Free from River Blindness
The rolling, lush landscape of the Ethiopian countryside surrounded the straw and mortar shelter. Inside, Ababora Abajobar, 70, sat in the thick-walled darkness. His weathered hands perched upon his walking stick, his blue socks neatly folded around his scarred shins.
June 12, 2007
New Malaria Program Blankets Areas of Ethiopia With Bed Nets
This article was originally featured in the 2007 Spring issue of Carter Center News.
Ethiopian farmer Mamo Tesfaye is no stranger to disease. Four years ago, he could only sit idly outside his home as the growing season came and went. Afflicted with river blindness, he could not see well enough to work his land or provide for his children. But soon after, The Carter Center began distributing the drug Mectizan®, which prevents the disease and even reverses its effects, in his village of Afeta. Today, Tesfaye surveys his land from behind his two brown oxen as he plows his fields.
Dec. 19, 2006
Many Forgotten Diseases, One Integrated Approach
Over the past two decades, The Carter Center, in partnership with Nigerian health authorities, has created a village-based health care delivery infrastructure to treat multiple diseases simultaneously. Thanks to these interventions, children can have the opportunity to grow up no longer fearing the blindness, disfigurement, organ damage, and life-sapping fevers that their parents suffered.
May 1, 2006
Dr. Emmanuel Miri: 'Dr. Water' Pours New Life into Rural Nigerian Communities with Carter Center Health Programs
His name means "water" and "life" in the Southeastern region of his native Nigeria, and perhaps no name could be more appropriate for Dr. Emmanuel Miri, resident technical adviser for the Carter Center's health programs in Nigeria.
Jan. 19, 2006
Staffer Reflects on OEPA Successes, River Blindness Partnerships in Mexico
A first-hand account by Becky Brookshire, associate director of development, Carter Center Health Programs.
Oct. 27, 2005
Carter Center Technical Advisor Moses Katabarwa: Proving Kinship Counts in Global Public Health
The son of an area chief in the former Ankole Kingdom, Moses Katabarwa learned early the importance of family, community, and grassroots action, dedicating his life to improving the well-being of his fellow Ugandans.
May 1, 2005
Innovative Approach to Disease Control Multiplies Results
This article was originally published in the spring 2005 issue of The Carter Center News.
Nov. 20, 2003
Volunteer Plays Key Role as River Blindness Health Promoter: Making Time to Protect a Community and Fight Disease
Working long hours caring for one of Guatemala's largest coffee plantations and managing six children would leave most people little time to volunteer. Jose Maria Pos, 41, thought the same thing when the Mitzimal farm manager asked him to become the community's river blindness (onchocerciasis) health promoter.
Jan. 1, 2003
Clear Vision Is in Their Future: Combating River Blindness in the Americas
The women of the extended Ramirez family Lisa, Martha, Maria, Anna, and Yesenia range in age from 16 to 52 and have been involved with the Carter Center's effort to eliminate onchocerciasis, or river blindness, for a collective total of 25 years.