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Help Ship Medical Kits to Aid Eradication of Guinea Worm Disease

30,000 medical kits packed and boxed: Donations still being accepted for shipment

Read the Associated Press feature story (distributed worldwide)
Click here for photo gallery

The Carter Center thanks radio partners John Resnick of "Legends of Success," and Paula Gordon and Bill Russell of "The Paula Gordon Show" for their support and generous donation of time and resources.

A special thanks...
to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to assemble 30,000 medical kits and backpacks.

Your efforts will ensure that children, women, and men in Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria will receive much-needed medical care, and will strengthen our efforts to eradicate the final 1 percent of Guinea worm disease in the world.

Corporate Volunteers to Help Assemble 30,000 Medical Kits for Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria

ATLANTA.... More than 300 corporate volunteers and members of the diplomatic community in Atlanta will join Carter Center staff July 13-30 to assemble 30,000 medical kits to use in the effort to eradicate the last 1 percent of Guinea worm disease left in the world.

Although supplies and assembly have been secured, the Center is accepting donations to help ship the crucial medical kits and replacement supplies. Shipping costs are estimated at $10 per medical kit, and members of the general public can provide a tax-deductible contribution for shipping (see box,above left).

The medical supplies, donated by Johnson & Johnson, will be sorted into medical kits to be distributed to volunteer health workers in Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria, the three most endemic countries. Each medical kit will allow volunteers to care for 10 people who suffer from Guinea worm disease, allowing children to return to school and parents to work. Read Emory Magazine's recent feature article on the Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

"This remarkable demonstration of corporate and personal caring is putting the best face of America forward around the world. By helping to prevent the terrible and unnecessary suffering caused by Guinea worm disease, this project will make life better for some of the most forgotten people in the world," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, chair, The Carter Center. Organizations providing donations or volunteers to support the assembly of the medical kits include (in alphabetical order): Atlanta Bread Company Airport-Atrium, LLC; BellSouth Corporation; British Consulate-General; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chick-fil-A, Inc.; The Coca-Cola Company; Consulate General of Canada; Consulate General of France; Consulate General of Japan; Delta Air Lines; DeKalb Medical Center's Cancer Survivors Group; EndosPromo, LLC; Health Students Taking Action Together; The Home Depot, Inc.; ING; Johnson & Johnson; Kimberly-Clark Corporation/Kimberly-Clark Health Care; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts; Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency; Proof of the Pudding; RARE Hospitality International, Inc./Longhorn Steakhouse; Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University; Selig Enterprises, Inc.; Southern Company; Sudan Lost Boys Foundation; Theragenics Corporation; Ulster Project-Atlanta; UPS; and WSB-TV. Click here to read more about each sponsor's contribution to The Carter Center and the medical kit project. Assembled medical kits will be distributed to Guinea worm volunteers in areas where medical attention is most needed, primarily regions without medical centers. Read more about village volunteers such as Santino Luka Madiria in the Bahr el Ghazal zone of southern Sudan. One medical kit will be distributed with each of 12,000 backpacks printed with the message "Stop Guinea Worm Now--Ask Me How." Eighteen thousand additional kits will be used to replenish supplies. Each kit will be organized in a plastic resealable bag and will include KLING fluff roll, STERI-PAD gauze pads, NU-GAUZE general use sponges, Littauer suture removal scissors, and Kimberly-Clark Safeskin Neon powder-free nitrile exam gloves. Tylenol Extended Relief®and Savlon antiseptic liquid will be shipped directly to Carter Center field offices in Accra and Khartoum to be added to the kits by volunteers in Africa.

"The medical kits are basic, but their impact in the field will be powerful, providing scarce treatment tools and raising public awareness," said Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, technical director of the Carter Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program. "Those who are entrusted with the Guinea worm medical kits have a high status as both caregivers and leaders in their communities." With less than 1 percent of the disease remaining, Guinea worm 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. In highly endemic areas, infected people usually have more than one Guinea worm, in some cases dozens, emerging at once. Learn more about the Guinea worm eradication effort. The Carter Center and its partners teach people about the origin of the disease and how to prevent it, provide cloth filters and pipe filters to make water safe for drinking, and treat the symptoms and pain associated with the disease. Since 1986, Guinea worm disease has been reduced by more than 99 percent, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to approximately 32,000 cases in 2003. With 13 of the original 20 endemic countries free or nearly free of Guinea worm disease, it 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 63 percent of remaining cases. Together, Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria currently account for 94 percent of all reported cases of Guinea worm disease worldwide. 

Sponsors: Guinea Worm Medical Kit Project

Alston & Bird, LLP
Established in 1893 and with offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, North Carolina's Research Triangle, and Washington, D.C., Alston & Bird is one of the largest and oldest law firms in the country. The firm's 700 attorneys provide a full range of services to domestic and international clients who conduct business all over the world. Alston & Bird has provided longstanding support to The Carter Center, with attorneys serving on The Carter Center's Board since its inception in 1983.

Atlanta Bread Company Airport-Atrium, LLC
The Atlanta Bread Company is a bakery café franchise group founded in Atlanta in 1993. The Atlanta Bread Company has 160 cafes in 24 states. With EndosPromo, the Atlanta Bread Company Airport-Atrium is sponsoring breakfast for volunteers of the medical kit assembly project July 19-23.

BellSouth Corporation
BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communications company headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and a parent company of Cingular Wireless, the nation's second largest wireless voice and data provider. Since 1983, BellSouth has contributed $2 million in monetary and in-kind donations to the Center.

British Consulate-General
The government of the United Kingdom works to eliminate global poverty and promote sustainable development through country-focused development programs. Primarily through the Department for International Development, the government of the United Kingdom has contributed $4.2 million toward support of Guinea worm eradicationin Africa and election monitoring activities in Mozambiqueand the Americas.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC is the primary federal agency working to improve the health of people in America and abroad. CDC provides health information, develops strategies for prevention and control of disease, and promotes health education activities. The CDC is an important partner to The Carter Center in the fight against Guinea worm and other parasitic diseases. Since 2002, the CDC has provided annual support to the Rosalynn Carter Symposia on Mental Health Policy.

Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Chick-fil-A, Inc., is a food service company with more than $1.5 billion in annual revenue and 1,125 locations nationwide. Since 1983, Chick-fil-A has contributed $117,000 in in-kind and monetary support for the Center's mission of waging peace, improving health, and building hope around the world.

The Coca-Cola Company
Based in Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company is the world's leading manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of beverage concentrates and syrups, used to produce nearly 400 beverages. Since 1983, The Coca-Cola Company has provided more than $3.5 million for support of the Center's work, including activities of the Americas Programand the China Village Elections Project, as well as the original construction of the Center.

Consulate-General of Canada
The government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, helps to reduce poverty in more than 100 developing countries around the world. CIDA has been a committed partner of the Center since 1996, providing $2.5 million to support our efforts to resolve conflict and improve health in Africaand strengthen democracy in the Americas.

Consulate-General of France

The government of France is the second largest aid donor in the European Union, with broad thematic interests and a geographic focus on Africa and the former French colonies.

Consulate-General of Japan
The government of Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, promotes global economic development and security. The Japanese government has been a committed partner in our efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease, providing more than $19 million for support of the Guinea Worm Eradication Programand the general work of the Center.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines provides national and international air service, with its major hub and corporate headquarters located in Atlanta. Delta Air Lines has supported The Carter Center's work since 1983, contributing more than $4 million for the Center's efforts to wage peace, fight disease, and build hope around the world.

EndosPromo, LLC
EndosPromo, LLC is a distributor for promotional merchandise and corporate apparel. EndosPromo works with individual clients to improve the impact of advertising campaigns, trade shows, or point-of-purchase displays. With the Atlanta Bread Company Airport-Atrium, EndosPromo is sponsoring breakfast for volunteers of the medical kit assembly project on July 19-23. EndosPromo also supplied the backpacks in which the medical supplies will be assembled.

The Home Depot, Inc.
The Home Depot is an Atlanta-based retailer specializing in home improvement construction and providing a range of services to both professional designers, developers, and individual homeowners. Since 1993, The Home Depot has contributed $2.2 million to the Carter Center's work.

ING is a Netherlands-based financial services company. ING services include banking, insurance, and asset management. Since 2003, The ING Foundation has contributed $10,000 to support the Center's efforts to improve health, strengthen democracy, and promote human rightsworldwide.

Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is a major manufacturer of medical supplies for both direct consumer and professional use. Since 2000, Johnson & Johnson has contributed product and financial donations in the amount of $250,000 for support of the Carter Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program. In addition, Johnson & Johnson provided an in-kind donation of medical supplies, valued at more than $1.5 million, for the medical kit assembly project.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Kimberly-Clark Health Care
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a leading consumer and medical products company, with manufacturing operations in 40 countries. Kimberly-Clark sells its global tissue, personal care, and health care brands in more than 150 countries. Kimberly-Clark Health Care, with headquarters in Roswell, Georgia, manufactures and markets surgical drapes, gowns, sterilization wrap and pouches, personal protective apparel and face masks, and patient care products. Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Kimberly-Clark Health Care donated 300,000 pairs of medical gloves to the Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Programas part of the medical kit assembly project. Volunteer health workers in Africa will use these gloves to provide safe treatment to patients suffering from Guinea worm disease.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts produces five million doughnuts a day and 1.8 billion doughnuts per year, operating in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts has provided $80,000 in support of both Health and Peace Programs at The Carter Center. In addition, Krispy Kreme provided coupons for a free coffee and doughnut to each of our medical kit assembly project volunteers.

Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency assists North American companies to invest directly in the Netherlands by providing a range of data to clients, including information regarding labor issues, appropriate site selection, and networks of Dutch service suppliers. Since 1991, the government of the Netherlands has contributed $15 million toward Carter Center Healthand PeacePrograms, including $8.5 million for support of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

Proof of the Pudding
Proof of the Pudding by MGR creates and produces successful culinary events throughout metropolitan Atlanta and the Southeast, providing full-service catering and "Gourmet to Go" services. Proof of the Pudding by MGR is the food service contractor for The Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, and recently provided an in-kind donation of chairs for the medical kit assembly project.

RARE Hospitality International, Inc./Longhorn Steakhouse
Based in Atlanta, RARE Hospitality International owns or franchises more than 200 restaurants, including Longhorn Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House, and The Capital Grille. Since 1999, RARE Hospitality has contributed $95,000 in in-kind and financial contributions to the Center, in addition to providing Longhorn Steakhouse gift certificates for the volunteer raffle.

Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University
The Rollins School of Public Health is Emory University's graduate level public health institute, offering both master's and doctoral degrees, and housing a vibrant intellectual community with important research initiatives in the field of public health.

Selig Enterprises, Inc.
Selig Enterprises, Inc., is an Atlanta-based real estate company. Selig Enterprises owns and operates a range of facilities and offers construction, legal, property management, brokerage, and accounting services for more than 250 properties. Selig Enterprises has donated their warehouse at 1375 Seaboard Industrial Boulevard as a storage and assembly site for the medical kits. In addition, The Selig Foundation has contributed $50,000 to support the Carter Center's work.

Southern Company
Southern Company is one of the United States' largest energy generation companies. Southern Company delivers electricity to homes and businesses through their five regulated retail electric utilities, including Georgia Power. Since 1997, Southern Company has contributed $550,000 in support of the Carter Center's work.

Sudan Lost Boys Foundation
The Sudan Lost Boys Foundation is an Atlanta-based foundation begun to provide educational and cultural opportunities to the 150 Sudanese "lost boys" living in the Atlanta region.

Theragenics Corporation
Theragenics Corporation specializes in the production of isotope-based medical devices, most notably implantable radiation devices used to treat certain cancers. Theragenics' president and chief executive officer is involved closely in the Center's work as a member of the Board of Councilors, a leadership advisory group that promotes understanding of the Center and its activities among opinion leaders and the broader community.

Ulster Project-Atlanta
Ulster Project-Atlanta promotes peaceful relations between current and future Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders in Northern Ireland by encouraging tolerance, understanding, and friendship among teenage future leaders. Ulster Project-Atlanta participants will be joined by members of the Sudanese community/Sudan Lost Boys Foundation.


UPS is the world's largest provider of global transportation services, serving individuals and businesses in 200 countries. Since 1992, UPS has supported the Carter Center's mission, providing $4.8 million in in-kind and monetary contributions.

WSB-TV is an Atlanta-area television station broadcasting on Channel 2. WSB-TV provides regular coverage of Carter Center initiatives and events.


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, 501(c)(3) charitable 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. Visit www.cartercenter.orgto learn more about The Carter Center.

Volunteers form assembly line to complete backpacks on first day of project.

Thirty thousand backpacks (above) and medical kits will be assembled by volunteers July 13-30.

How Can I Be Involved?

You can help The Carter Center in its final push to end the suffering caused by one of the oldest and most insidious parasitic diseases. The 30,000 kits of vital medical supplies being shipped to Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria by The Carter Center--with your help--will be used to help eradicate the last 1 percent of Guinea worm disease left in the world.

Shipping cost for each kit is $10. You can contribute by donating:

  • $50 for 5 kits
  • $100 for 10 kits
  • $250 for 25 kits
  • $500 for 50 kits
  • $1,000 for 100 kits
  • Any other amount

To help eradicate Guinea worm disease and be part of history, please make your tax-deductible donation online, by mail, or by calling 1-800-550-3560, extension 866 (see box, top left of page).

Although 99 percent of the disease is eradicated, Guinea worm still afflicts tens of thousands of Africans, especially in war-torn areas of Sudan. It is contracted when people drink contaminated water, which leads to worms that grow inside the person and painfully exit through the skin.

Learn more about the
Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

Help The Carter Center wipe this disease off the face of the earth.

The Guinea worm medical kits will provide relief to children in war-torn Sudan (above), one of the most endemic countries in the world.

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