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International Task Force for Disease Eradication - Articles By Carter Center Experts

July 17, 2014
Haiti National Program for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis – A Model of Success in the Face of Adversity
Published by PLoS Journal of Neglected Tropical Diseases.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002915.
Authors: Roland Oscar, Jean Frantz Lemoine, Abdel Nasser Direny, Luccene Desir, Valery E. Madsen Beau de Rochars, Mathieu J. P. Poirier, Ann Varghese, Ijeoma Obidegwu, Patrick J. Lammie , Thomas G. Streit, Marie Denise Milord
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a mosquito-borne parasitic infection that causes lymphedema, elephantiasis, and hydrocele. Haiti is one of only four countries left in the Americas where transmission of lymphatic filariasis still occurs. The National Program to Eliminate LF (NPELF) was started in Haiti in 2000. The LF program in Haiti has faced many challenges, including political crises, hurricanes, a devastating earthquake, and a deadly cholera outbreak in the earthquake's aftermath. Despite these challenges, the NPELF and partners have persisted, and now provides appropriate supportive care for persons suffering from LF morbidity. Haiti serves as a model for successful program implementation in countries affected by political and social challenges and natural disasters.

Jan. 16, 2014
The World's Youngest Country and a Very Old Disease: South Sudan Proves Guinea Worm Can Be Defeated With Return To Peace
Published by The Huffington Post.
Author: Donald R. Hopkins 
In the 1970s, a decade of peace opened up between civil wars in Sudan, allowing health workers to reach and immunize at-risk communities for smallpox. Without this window of peace, historians argue, smallpox might not have been conquered there. Recent outbreaks of violence (Dec. 15, 2013) in the new country of South Sudan have led some to speculate whether eradication efforts will succeed for another primeval plague - the Bible's "fiery serpent," known today as Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis).Read the Carter Center Press Release. Watch President Carter's Huffington Post Live interview on Guinea worm.

Jan. 3, 2013
Disease Eradication
Published by New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 368 No. 1.pp. 53-64. Doi:10.1056/NEJMra1200391
Author: Donald R. Hopkins.
Since the last case of naturally-occurring smallpox in 1977, there have been three major international conferences devoted to the concept of disease eradication. Several other diseases have been considered as potential candidates for eradication, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted only two other diseases for global eradication after smallpox. In 1986, WHO's policy-making body, the World Health Assembly, adopted the elimination of dracunculiasis (Guinea worm disease) as a global goal, and it declared eradication of poliomyelitis a global goal in 1988. Although both diseases now appear to be close to eradication, the fact that neither goal has been achieved after more than two decades, and several years beyond the initial target dates for their eradication, underscores the daunting challenge of such efforts, as does the failure of previous attempts to eradicate malaria, hookworm, yaws and other diseases. "Disease Eradication" was published as part one of "A Global View of Health – An Unfolding Series."Read the overview of the series >

Dec. 6, 2010
Progress on Neglected Disease is Moot If We Neglect to Count (PDF)
Published by Nature Medicine, Vol. 16, Number 12.
Author: Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H
The recent global campaign launched against a select number of neglected tropical diseases is a welcome development. But we should be as careful about measuring progress toward the control or elimination of these diseases as we are about choosing which ones to target.

March 30, 2010
A Project for Haiti: The Eradication of Two Diseases
Published by the New York Times
Author: Dr. Donald R. Hopkins 
This letter to the editor of the New York Times by Carter Center Vice President, Dr. Hopkins, for Health Programs Dr. Donald R. Hopkins was published March 30, 2010, in response to the March 28, 2010 editorial "Making Haiti Whole."Two projects that the donors conference on Haiti should consider this week are the binational plan that Haiti and the Dominican Republic announced last October to eliminate malaria by 2020, and the plan that Haiti announced simultaneously to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) by 2020 (the Dominican Republic expects to eliminate lymphatic filariasis this year).

July 30, 2009
The Allure of Eradication (PDF)
Published by Global Health Magazine.
Author: Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H.
This shortened version of the full magazine is reprinted with permission. The complete issue can be viewed at:
U.S. President Thomas Jefferson's message in 1806 to the discoverer of smallpox vaccination articulated the vision and predicted the outcome and consequences of smallpox eradication, but badly misjudged how long it would take for the world to get there.

June 1992
Introduction of the Soper Lecture
Published by The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 1992, 46(6), 1992, p. 625.
Author: Robert L. Kaiser.
Dr. Fred Soper dedicated his life to disease eradication. Shortly after his death in 1977, the Gorgas Memorial Institute established the Soper Lectureship in his honor. As a leader in the fight for Guinea Worm eradication, Dr. Don Hopkins exemplifies Soper's many qualities.

Dec. 5, 1991
Homing in on Helminths
Published by Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 46(6), 1992, pp. 626-634.
Author: Donald Hopkins
Dr. Donald Hopkins presented the 13th annual Soper Lecture at the 40th Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

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