Carter Center Stands Out at Annual Tropical Medicine Meeting

  • A man stands at the podium.

    Dr. Kashef Ijaz, Carter Center vice president of health programs, speaks at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, held Oct. 18-22 in Chicago. (Photos: The Carter Center/ A. Kranz)

  • Five people smile facing the camera.

    Trachoma expert Angelia Sanders of The Carter Center organized a panel on “Diseases, Conflict, and Health Security.” She was joined (from left to right) by colleagues Samhita Kumar, Mental Health Program; Frederic Deycard, Conflict Resolution Program in Mali; Dr. Sara Lavinia Brair, Carter Center Sudan; as well as Erin Sorrell of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The Carter Center sent a large contingent to the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), held Oct. 18-22 in Chicago.

ASTMH is the largest international scientific organization dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health. The Carter Center has actively participated and contributed to ASTMH since 1982. Our health experts have been article authors and the Center’s work has been mentioned over 100 times in the society’s American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In Atlanta in 2001, Jimmy Carter became the only current or former president ever to attend an ASTMH annual meeting in person.  

At the 2023 meeting in Chicago, Carter Center staff delivered seven oral presentations, engaged in three symposiums, and presented nine posters. Public health peers learned about Carter Center efforts in coordination with nearly a dozen national programs in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Some highlights: 

  • The Center’s Ethiopia country team has seen a significant decrease in onchocerciasis (river blindness) transmission in hyperendemic areas in southwestern Ethiopia due to twice-per-year drug treatments and has experienced significant achievements in lymphatic filariasis elimination in northwestern Ethiopia.
  • Hispaniola Initiative epidemiologist Karen Hamre recently completed an analysis of a nationwide remapping survey in the Dominican Republic that confirmed no evidence of active lymphatic filariasis transmission.
  • The River Blindness Elimination Program continues surveillance of the black fly to eliminate transmission of the parasitic disease in Nigeria.
  • Trachoma Control Program staff found that people in South Sudan are generally receptive to the antibiotics distributed for trachoma and that we should increase community-based outreach and case detection through interventions such as surgery camps.
  • Research has shown a successful uptake of the School Trachoma Program in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

On Oct. 22, ASTMH hosted a special session to pay tribute to President Carter and his wife and partner, Rosalynn Carter, for their contributions to improving global health and development. On their own and through The Carter Center, the Carters have improved lives for over 50 years. More than 500 attendees learned about the Carters’ impact and legacy from friends, family, and colleagues who have worked alongside them to wage peace, fight disease, and build hope worldwide.

Emmy-winning journalist Kane Farabaugh facilitated a discussion with these panelists:

  • Julie Jacobson, ASTMH presidential advisor, Bridges to Development managing partner
  • Kashef Ijaz, Carter Center vice president of health programs
  • Donald Hopkins, Carter Center special advisor for Guinea worm eradication
  • Sarah Carter, Science Policy Consulting LLC principal and the Carters’ eldest granddaughter
  • Frank Richards, Carter Center senior advisor, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and malaria programs

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization director-general, and Dr. Bill Foege, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former Carter Center executive director, contributed recorded remarks.

The Carter Center wishes to thank ASTMH for its leadership and partnership over the years, with special thanks to the current ASTMH president, Dr. Daniel Bausch, and outgoing CEO, Karen A. Goraleski, who led the society for 13 successful years.

Learn more about the Center's Health Programs »

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