Japan Awards Prize for Guinea Worm

The Guinea Worm Eradication Program, led by The Carter Center, received the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize in the medical services category, the government of Japan announced in August in Tokyo. The prize recognizes the program’s efforts to make Guinea worm disease the first human disease to be eradicated since smallpox in 1980.

The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize comprises a citation and a medal for each laureate and an honorarium of 100 million yen (more than 750,000 U.S. dollars at today’s exchange rate). A nominating committee identifies a list of finalists for the prizes, and the prime minister of Japan makes the final decision.

“We at The Carter Center are very grateful for this prestigious award from such an important partner,” said Adam Weiss, director of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program. “The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize signifies the government of Japan’s high level of interest and involvement in the health and welfare of the people of Africa. We appreciate the support we consistently receive from Consul-General Kazuyuki Takeuchi here in Atlanta.”

The government of Japan has supported The Carter Center and its partners in the Guinea worm eradication effort since 1989. When The Carter Center assumed leadership of the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, an estimated 3.5 million cases occurred annually, mostly in Africa. In 2021, there were just 15 cases.

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