Where We Work



Fighting Disease

Chad has waged a seesaw battle with Guinea worm disease since the 1990s. Transmission of the ancient disease was believed to have been stopped in 1999, but new cases were discovered and the country was reclassified as endemic in 2012. The Carter Center continues to work with village volunteers and Ministry of Health officials to eliminate the disease.

+Eliminating Guinea Worm Disease

Current status: Endemic
Indigenous cases reported in 2018: 17*
Animal infections reported in 2018: 1,065

Previous status: Transmission stopped, 1999. Prior to 2012, Chad was in precertification status. Reclassified as endemic in 2012.

Current Guinea worm case reports >

Elimination Activities, 1993-2000

When its Guinea worm elimination efforts began in 1993, Chad had 1,231 cases in 106 villages in six of the nine national provinces. The strategy for interrupting transmission focused primarily on educating residents about the origin of the disease and how to prevent it. The Carter Center provided technical and financial assistance.

Through these efforts, in 1999 the country had its last indigenous case and met the criteria for breaking transmission of Guinea worm disease (having reported no indigenous cases for 12 consecutive months). Chad was honored at a special ceremony at The Carter Center in Atlanta in 2000 for having stopped Guinea worm disease transmission.


After more than a decade with no indigenous cases reported, 10 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in eight villages during a World Health Organization precertification mission to Chad in July 2010. In 2011, when 10 additional cases were reported from nine different villages, Chad's Ministry of Public Health formally asked The Carter Center to assist with a revived Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

Having reported indigenous cases for the third consecutive year in 2012, Chad officially became one of the four remaining endemic countries (Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, and South Sudan) in the campaign to eradicate Guinea worm worldwide. In 2017, the country reported 15* cases compared to 16 cases in 2016.

A more recent challenge is a significant number of domestic dogs (and a small number of cats) in Chad that have contracted Guinea worm infections. The worm’s life cycle in animals is not yet well understood, but intensive research continues. Cash rewards are being paid for reporting infected dogs and for keeping them away from water sources where the worms could reproduce.

Since 2011, program staff members have enhanced surveillance by training more than 2,500 village volunteers in more than 880 villages.

The village volunteers teach techniques to prevent contamination of drinking water, provide free first aid, and immediately report cases to public health authorities. Monetary rewards for information leading to confirmation of Guinea worm cases are publicized through local radio stations, posters, and person-to-person networks.

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Size: 1.284 million square kilometers (more than three times the size of the U.S. state of California)

Population: 12,075,985

Population below poverty line: 46.7 percent

Life expectancy: 51 years

Ethnic groups: Sara, Kanembu/Bornu/Buduma, Arab, Wadai/Maba/Masalit/Mimi, Gorane, Masa/Musseye/Musgum, Bulala/Medogo/Kuka, Marba/Lele/Mesme, Mundang, Bidiyo/Migaama/Kenga/Dangleat, Dadjo/Kibet/Muro, Tupuri/Kera, Gabri/Kabalaye/Nanchere/Somrai, Fulani/Fulbe/Bodore, Karo/Zime/Peve, Baguirmi/Barma, Zaghawa/Bideyet/Kobe, Tama/Assongori/Mararit, Mesmedje/Massalat/Kadjakse, other Chadian ethnicities, Chadians of foreign ethnicities, foreign nationals, unspecified

Religions: Muslim, Roman Catholic, Protestant, animist, other Christian, none, unspecified

Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects

Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2018




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