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Real Lives, Real Change: Trachoma Control Program

Trachoma Sufferer Goes from Fear to Clear

Tessougue Yietere lives in a village called Logo in Mali's Mopti region, where the Sahara desert gives way to the Central African rainforest. For many years Yietere had suffered from trachoma, a tropical eye infection that can lead to blindness. Learn More

Trachoma Documentary Sheds Light on Blinding Disease

"Trachoma: Defeating a Blinding Curse," a documentary feature film that follows Carter Center staff, global health partners, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter engaged in a comprehensive strategy to eliminate blinding trachoma in Ethiopia, aired on American Public Television stations nationwide this fall. Learn More

In the Spotlight: Kelly Callahan, Director of the Carter Center Trachoma Control Program

Kelly Callahan was 8 years old when she unwittingly charted her life's course. "I was sitting under the dining table with my neighbor's dog, listening to my mother's conversation about Liberia," Callahan said. "I thought, 'Yeah — I'm going to go there.' And from then on, I always knew I would go to Africa. I just didn't know why or for what." Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Simple Measures, Big Results

A leader in the eradication and elimination of diseases, The Carter Center is fighting six preventable diseases — Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and malaria — by using health education and simple, low-cost methods. The following slideshow illustrates some of the fundamental tools and approaches used by The Carter Center to help build a healthier and more peaceful world. Learn More

Al Jazeera Profiles Ethiopia Trachoma 'Health Heroes'

Ethiopia's pioneering efforts to eliminate blinding trachoma, in partnership with The Carter Center, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and others, are featured in the documentary series "Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health," which will be broadcast outside the United States on Al Jazeera English. The series also will highlight the Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program in South Sudan and the River Blindness Elimination Program in Uganda. Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Meet Centayo Fengte: A Sight Worth a Thousand Smiles

The crowded courtyard at Chuahit Health Clinic in North Gondar, Ethiopia, is full of people — elders talking, mothers swaying side to side to soothe their infants, health workers hurrying back and forth between offices. Suddenly, a small corner of the clinic erupts in laughter. Learn More

Pfizer, Carter Center Celebrate Milestone in Global Campaign to Fight Trachoma

On Nov. 5, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter joined Pfizer Inc. CEO Ian Read at Pfizer headquarters in New York City to celebrate major progress in the global campaign against the blinding disease trachoma as the Center prepares to distribute its 100 millionth dose of Zithromax ®, a Pfizer-donated antibiotic used to treat the disease. Learn More

Meet Hajan Hassan: Surgery Brings Hope to Nigerien Grandmother

It was late afternoon in Dorum, southern Niger, when a man and his elderly mother rode in on a motorcycle. The woman's calm façade belied the excruciating pain she felt. An hour-long ride outdoors through dusty roads in the midday sun comprised some of the worst conditions a woman with an advanced eye disease could face. But as agonizing as it was, the journey likely saved her eyesight Learn More

The Carter Center at 30: Leader in Disease Eradication and Elimination

he 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. Learn More

Salissou Kane: Niger's Trachoma Control Campaign Employs Lessons Learned in Guinea Worm Fight

Completely eliminating a disease from a country twice the size of Texas is no easy task. Salissou Kane, the Carter Center's country representative for Niger learned this time and again during more than two decades fighting Guinea worm in his homeland. Now that the disease has been wiped out nationwide, Kane is using his hard-won knowledge of Niger's complex multicultural communities to tackle to the bacterial eye disease trachoma. Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Maltra Success Measured in Millions

From Nov. 5-11, 20,000 health workers and volunteers will walk the countryside of western Amhara region, Ethiopia. Their quest: treat every person at risk—approximately 10 million—for trachoma control and screen as needed for malaria. In this Q&A, Paul Emerson, director of the Center's Trachoma Control Program, explains the remarkable results of these "Maltra"—malaria and trachoma—weeks, a collaborate effort between the Lions Clubs International Foundation and The Carter Center. Learn More

Sadi Moussa: Public Health Worker Begins Third Decade of Improving Lives, Battling Guinea Worm and Trachoma in Mali

"I think I have something to share with another country" says Sadi Moussa, explaining why he recently relocated to Mali to help tackle public health problems after almost two decades doing similar work in his home country of Niger. Learn More

Return Visit Confirms Family's Continued Vigilance Against Trachoma

Paul Emerson entered the modest hut unannounced, knowing what he was hoping to find, but ready for anything. Emerson - director of the Carter Center's Trachoma Control Program - had visited this family before. In 2005, he had accompanied President and Mrs. Carter to Mosebo village, northwest Ethiopia, to help launch a comprehensive trachoma initiative in the region. Learn More

Carter Center Slideshow: Ghana Keeps Trachoma at Bay

Ghana recently became the first sub-Saharan African nation to eliminate blinding trachoma as a public health problem, thanks to a decade-long effort of Ghana Health Services in partnership with the Carter Center’s Trachoma Control Program. Trachoma has devastating effects on communities already on the brink of survival, but its most severe form — blindness — is now rarely found in Ghana due to the success of the SAFE strategy — Surgery, Antibiotics ®, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental hygiene. Trachoma thrives in a dry and dusty environment like that in Tingoli, northern Ghana, which is pictured here. Learn More

Carter Center Successfully Integrates Antibiotic Distribution, Health Education During Intensive Weeklong Efforts Against Blinding Trachoma, Malaria

With a population of approximately 17 million, the Amhara Region of Ethiopia is one of the most severely affected trachoma-endemic areas in the world. There are currently more than 15 million people at risk of infection and approximately 470,000 people visually impaired as a result of trichiasis, the blinding form of the disease. In addition, the region is susceptible to seasonal malaria epidemics, putting the majority of the population at risk for the potentially fatal disease. Learn More

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. Learn More

Millions Mobilize April 17-23 in Amhara Region For Trachoma Treatments, Malaria Health Education

Impoverished communities in Amhara Region, Ethiopia—the world's most trachoma-endemic area—are harnessing an innovative and far-reaching approach to treating and preventing this blinding bacterial infection. Learn More

Medical Student Travels Far to Perform Trichiasis Surgery

Mekuria Amare, a health officer in the North Gondar Zone of Ethiopia, is currently completing his clinical training at Gondar University to become a medical doctor. Mekuria initially received training as a health officer, providing him the opportunity to provide general health care to a rural population. In 2007, he was trained by The Carter Center to provide trichiasis surgery at his health post in the remote district of Telemt. Learn More

Meet Yalanbu Zenabu: Former Trichiasis Patient Sees Hopeful Future

Three years ago, Yalanbu Zenabu of Botingli, northern Ghana, was consumed by the daily suffering of trachoma. As a victim of trichiasis, the blinding form of trachoma, her disease had progressed to the stage where her eyelashes scratched against her eye, causing intense pain and debilitation. Learn More

Nigerien Soap Provides Income, Helps Prevent Blindness

It is nearly evening in the desert village of Adorihi in southern Niger, and 36-year-old Aisha Oumarou crouches over her cooking fire carefully mixing oil into a pot on coals. Although the mixture smells faintly of peanuts, the hot dough that Oumarou extracts from the pot and rolls between her hands is not destined to be the evening's meal, but balls of soap. Learn More

Carter Center Successfully Distributes Nine Million Doses of Antibiotics During Ethiopia MALTRA Weeks

With a population of approximately 17 million, the Amhara Region of Ethiopia is one of the most severely affected trachoma-endemic areas in the world. There are currently more than 15 million people at risk of infection and approximately 470,000 people visually impaired as a result of trichiasis, the blinding form of the disease. In addition, the region is susceptible to seasonal malaria epidemics, putting the majority of the population at risk for the potentially fatal disease. Learn More

Ambitious Goal to End Blindness-Inducing Disease

Conventional wisdom says trachoma — the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide — can only be treated, not eliminated. But Teshome Gebre, The Carter Center's point man for trachoma control in Ethiopia, hopes to defy that wisdom. He is convinced that trachoma's blinding and debilitating effects can be stopped before the end of the next decade, the targeted goal for global trachoma elimination. Learn More

Profile: Paul Emerson Fly Expert Tackles Trachoma in Africa

Growing up in England, Dr. Paul Emerson dreamed of becoming a scientist and an educator, the kind of individual who would have both the technical knowledge and practical skills to show people how to better their lives. That dream led him first to teach in England and Africa, then to become a medical entomologist, and now to The Carter Center, which he joined three years ago as director of the Trachoma Control Program. "My specialty is the humble house fly and the diseases it transmits," he said. One of the worst of these is trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eyes. Learn More

Many Forgotten Diseases, One Integrated Approach

To help combat neglected tropical diseases suffered by millions of people, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $10 million to fund two groundbreaking Carter Center initiatives in Nigeria. Learn More

Trachoma Study in Sudan Shows SAFE Strategy Works

Children in the United States may not give grape-flavored cough syrup another thought, but in Eastern Equatoria, Sudan, children look forward to their yearly dose of an antibiotic that tastes like bananas. The medicine, azithromycin, is one part of a strategy designed to prevent blinding trachoma, a bacterial eye disease and leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. Learn More

Education Key to Reducing Trachoma Across Africa

"My mother believed you got trachoma from crying," said Neter Nadew, a 36-year-old Ethiopian mother of four who suffers as her mother did from trachoma, a bacterial eye disease that can lead to blindness. Nadew's mother was forced to pluck out her eyelashes to prevent the onset of blindness in the later stages of the disease. Learn More

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. Learn More

Trachoma Radio-Listening Club Volunteer Spreads Health Messages Across Ghana

Memunatu Alhassan lives in Botingli village in Northern Ghana. She is an active member of her village's radio-listening club and frequently appears on the shows herself. The Carter Center supports the production of trachoma radio shows, pays for airtime, and has provided 250 Freeplay™ radios to the radio-listening clubs. Learn More

Innovative Approach to Disease Control Multiplies Results

Imagine a nation almost half the size of the United States where large portions of the population are sick -- not with just one disease but several at once. Such is the daily reality for those living in Nigeria, a nation with one of the highest burdens of disease in Africa. Learn More

Stories From the Field: Yengussie Tebeje

Yengussie Tebeje, 55, sits outside her hut next to a small fire in the rural Ethiopian village of Mosebo. As flies dart around and land on her worn face, she describes her struggle against trachoma, a debilitating eye disease. Learn More

Niger Latrine Program Aids Trachoma Prevention

An assessment of the Carter Center's latrine project in Niger, undertaken to reduce incidence of trachoma, has shown encouraging results. After one year, household latrines are widely accepted, used and maintained. Learn More

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