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Carter Center, WHO, UNICEF Escalate Efforts Against Guinea Worm Disease in West Africa

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President Carter "Blogs" for Peace and Health in West Africa

ATLANTA....Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn, will travel on behalf of The Carter Center to West Africa Feb. 2-6, 2004, to call international attention to the need to eliminate the last 1 percent of Guinea worm disease remaining in the world.

The Carter Center team will visit Togo and Mali and be joined in Ghana by World Health Organization Director-General Dr. LEE Jong-wook and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam. The Carter Center, UNICEF, and WHO are lead partners in a worldwide coalition that has helped countries reduce incidences of the disease by 99 percent, from 3.5 million in 1986 to approximately 35,000 today. Ghana Minister of Health Dr. Kweku Afriyie will host and guide the visiting delegations during a tour of villages with Guinea worm disease.

Members of the general public can accompany President Carter virtually by visiting as President Carter "blogs," or publishes regular journal entries from the field. Beginning Feb. 2, the reports on the Carter Center's Web site will share his thoughts and feelings during his journey in West Africa.

Guinea worm disease is expected to be the first parasitic disease to be eradicated, and the first disease to be eradicated without vaccines or medications. It is contracted when people consume stagnant water, contaminated with microscopic water fleas carrying infective larvae. Inside a human's abdomen, the larvae mature and grow, some as long as three feet. After a year, the worm slowly emerges through a painful blister in the skin, usually on the lower limbs.

"Guinea worm disease is unfamiliar, even unimaginable to most people in the developed world. The pain and suffering it causes its victims are tragic, yet they are preventable," said President Carter, chairman of The Carter Center and 2002 Nobel laureate. "Relieving the suffering caused by Guinea worm is as easy as educating people about the disease and providing them with simple solutions to make their drinking water safe. Health is a human right and can be a foundation for peace. The end is in sight. Working together, we can stop Guinea worm now."

The delegation will visit Tamale in Ghana's Northern Region to talk with villagers and community leaders combating the disease in the most highly endemic area remaining in West Africa. With 13 of the original 20 endemic countries free or nearly free of Guinea worm, the disease remains only in West Africa and Sudan. Ghana is the most endemic Guinea worm country in West Africa, second in the world only to Sudan, which has nearly 70 percent of remaining cases. Ghana accounts for about 25 percent of approximately *35,000 reported cases in 2003.
(* 2003 provisional numbers)

There are two press conferences scheduled during the trip - Togo and Ghana:

WHO: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Minister of Health
Suzanne Aho
WHAT: Joint Press Conference
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004, 12:00 p.m. (Local time)
WHERE: Hotel Mercure Sarakawa
Boulevard du Mono
BP 2232
Lome, TOGO
227 65 90

WHO: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, WHO Director-General Dr. LEE Jong-wook, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam, and Ghana Minister of Health Kweku Afriyie
WHAT: Field visit, photo opportunities, and press conference
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2004
WHERE: Tamale, Northern Region, GHANA


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center and Guinea worm disease, please visit:


Jeudi 22 janvier 2004

CONTACT : Emily Howard
Le Centre Carter
Téléphone : 1-404-420-5126
Fax : 1-404-420-5145

Jimmy Carter : « Arrêtez le ver de Guinée maintenant »

Le Centre Carter, l'OMS et l'UNICEF intensifient leurs efforts contre la maladie du ver de Guinée en Afrique de l'Ouest


Les « blogues » du président Carter pour la paix et la santé en Afrique de l'Ouest

ATLANTA.... L'ex-président des É.-U., Jimmy Carter, et sa femme, Rosalynn, voyageront en Afrique de l'Ouest du 2 au 6 février 2004, au nom du Centre Carter, pour attirer l'attention internationale sur le besoin d'éliminer du monde le dernier centième de la maladie du ver de Guinée.

Le grand public peut accompagner virtuellement le président Carter en consultant le site, alors que le président Carter inscrira sur son « blogue » ou publiera des chroniques à partir du terrain. À compter du 2 février, les rapports publiés sur le site Web du Centre Carter feront état de ses impressions et de ses sentiments tout au long de son voyage en Afrique de l'Ouest.

L'équipe du Centre Carter se rendra au Togo et au Mali et sera rejointe au Ghana par le directeur général de l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, le Dr LEE Jong-wook, et par le directeur exécutif adjoint de l'UNICEF, Kul Gautam. Le Centre Carter, L'UNICEF et l'OMS sont les principaux partenaires d'un regroupement mondial qui a aidé les pays à réduire l'incidence de la maladie de 99 pour cent, passant de 3,5 millions en 1986 à approximativement 35 000 aujourd'hui. Le ministre de la Santé du Ghana, le Dr Kweku Afriyie, sera l'hôte et le guide des délégations lors d'une tournée des villages où sévit la maladie du ver de Guinée.

La maladie du ver de Guinée devrait être la première maladie parasitaire à être éradiquée, et la première à l'être sans vaccin ni médicament. On contracte l'infection en buvant de l'eau stagnante contaminée par de minuscules puces d'eau porteuses de larves du ver de Guinée. Ces larves se développent ensuite dans l'abdomen des humains et grandissent jusqu'à atteindre près d'un mètre. Au bout d'un an, le ver émerge lentement du derme par une phlyctène douloureuse, généralement sur les membres inférieurs.

« La maladie du ver de Guinée n'est pas connue de la plupart des gens des pays développés, ni même imaginable. La douleur et les souffrances qu'elle cause à ses victimes.

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