Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Carter Center: Leader in the Eradication and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases

Guided by the vision and passion of Carter Center founders Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, The Carter Center is a recognized leader in the global fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), focusing efforts to build health and hope in some of the poorest and most isolated places on earth.

The Center is a pioneer in the elimination and eradication of NTDs, beginning with the bold move in 1986 to tackle Guinea worm eradication and followed by innovations to safely deliver medicines for several diseases at one time. Additionally, The Carter Center uniquely integrates malaria and mental health work into one or more of its NTD programs. The Center’s operational advances have been recognized through hundreds of published articles in peer-reviewed publications. This work has opened the window to progress, innovation, and development in more than 30 African and Latin American countries.

Highlighted Achievements


The Center-led Guinea worm eradication campaign has averted at least 80 million cases of this devastating disease among the world's poorest people.


The Carter Center has assisted distribution of more than 950 million doses of medicine to prevent NTDs.


The Center has assisted 22 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to eliminate at least one neglected disease and secure official WHO recognition.

Neglected Tropical Disease

Carter Center NTD programs fill vacuums in global health, helping to prevent needless suffering and build hope for millions of the world’s poorest people. Learn more below.

  • Guinea Worm Disease

    The Carter Center leads the international eradication campaign that has reduced human cases of this horrible disease by 99.99%, from an estimated 3.5 million in 21 countries in Africa and Asia in 1986 to a dwindling handful today.

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  • River Blindness

    The Center has assisted in the distribution of more than 500 million Mectizan® treatments in Africa and the Americas to eliminate river blindness, assisting national ministries of health to stamp out this dreadful parasitic infection.

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  • Trachoma

    Since 1998, the Center has supported hundreds of thousands of eyelid surgeries, the distribution of hundreds of millions of doses of azithromycin, the building of millions of latrines, and health education in thousands of villages to control the world's leading infectious cause of preventable blindness.

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  • Lymphatic Filariasis

    The Center works to eliminate the debilitating parasitic disease lymphatic filariasis (LF) from areas of Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the island of Hispaniola. Because the disease is often linked to disfigurement and stigma, the Center is incorporating a mental health component into programming.

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  • Schistosomiasis

    The Carter Center undertakes one of the longest-running initiatives in providing health education and treatment for schistosomiasis in Nigeria, where we have assisted in reducing blood in schoolchildren's urine — a telltale sign of schistosomiasis infection — by approximately 50% in Plateau and Nasarawa states.

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    Inspired by the successful eradication of smallpox, the International Task Force for Disease Eradication (ITFDE) formed at The Carter Center in 1988 to review progress in the field of disease eradication and the status of diseases selected for control or eradication and to recommend action steps.

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Related Health Programs

  • Global Mental Health & NTDs

    Some research suggests that NTDs predispose individuals to poor mental health. The Carter Center is uniquely positioned to address the stigma and mental health impact of NTDs, leveraging decades of mental health expertise under the leadership of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

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  • Malaria

    A precipitous decline in confirmed malaria cases in Haiti and the Dominican Republic in recent years indicates the national programs supported by the Center and partners to strengthen binational cooperation, provide technical assistance, and deliver anti-malaria interventions are succeeding.

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Where We Work

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What's the Difference Between Eradication, Elimination, and Control?

Eradication: Reduction of the worldwide incidence of a disease to zero so no further control measures are needed.

Elimination: Transmission of a disease is halted in a single country, continent, or other limited geographic area, rather than global eradication.

ControlReduced incidence or prevalence of a disease or condition; control measures are still required.

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