Neglected Tropical Diseases

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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

Leadership

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

Treatments

The Carter Center has assisted distribution of more than 800 million doses of medicine to prevent NTDs.

Partnerships

The Center has assisted 21 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 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 54 human cases in five African countries in 2019.

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  • River Blindness

    The Carter Center has assisted in the distribution of more than 425 million treatments of Mectizan® in Africa and Latin America 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 assisted more than 800,000 eyelid surgeries, the distribution of 203 million doses of azithromycin, the building of more than 3.6 million latrines, and health education efforts in over 6,000 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 helped to reduce blood in schoolchildren's urine — a telltale sign of schistosomiasis infection — by approximately 50% in Plateau and Nasarawa states.

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  • ITFDE

    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 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 more than 30 years of mental health expertise under the leadership of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

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  • Malaria

    In 2019, there were 10,654 confirmed malaria cases reported in Hispaniola, representing an 88% decrease since 2010, indicating that the national programs supported by the Center and partners to strengthen binational cooperation, provide technical assistance, and deliver anti-malaria interventions are achieving success.

    Learn more »

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Video

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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