Britain To Pledge $31M Over Four Years To Carter Center Campaign To Eradicate Guinea Worm

“At a press briefing in London on Wednesday, British officials are expected to pledge 20 million pounds ($31 million) over four years to” a campaign led by the Carter Center, the WHO, and the CDC to eradicate guinea worm, a parasitic disease that now exists only in four African countries, by 2015, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. Former President Jimmy Carter and British officials are urging other donors to come forward with additional funding, the news service writes (10/4). The WHO “reports it is very close to eradicating guinea worm” and that “it needs $350 million to finish the job,” VOA News notes (Schlein, 10/4).

“There were around 3.5 million cases of the waterborne infection in 21 countries in Africa and Asia in 1986 when the Carter Center organized a global effort to eradicate the disease,” Reuters reports, adding, “Since then the disease has been reduced by more than 99 percent. There were 1,797 cases worldwide in 2010, all of them in Africa.” According to the news service, “The disease has been eliminated in Nigeria, Niger and Ghana in the last two years” (10/5). “Ninety-seven percent of cases of guinea worm are in South Sudan. The remaining three percent are … found in Chad, Ethiopia and Mali,” VOA notes (10/4). “There is no known cure or vaccine and so Britain’s support through the Carter Center will focus on teaching people how to avoid the disease,” Reuters writes (10/5).

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