A Fitting Tribute to Jimmy Carter
Guinea Worm Disease is on the cusp of total eradication
I recorded today’s episode about Guinea Worm Disease before news broke that Jimmy Carter was in his final days. The episode now serves as a tribute to the greatest achievement of any ex-president in modern history.
Guinea Worm Disease is a horrid thing. It is a waterborne parasite for which there is neither a cure nor a treatment. When ingested by a human, the worm grows and grows inside the body until it gets so large that it painfully exits through the skin. It can only be stopped by ending the chain of transmission — and that is what Jimmy Carter set out to do decades ago.
In the early 1980s there were over 3.5 million cases of Guinea Worm Disease around the world. Then Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center launched an eradication campaign. Last year, there were just…13 cases (not a typo).
My guest Adam Weiss directs the Carter Center’s Guinea Worm eradication initiative. He explains how this parasite went from being so prevalent to now on the verge of eradication.
Jimmy Carter once said that his goal was to outlive the last guinea worm on earth—and he’s darn close to achieving it.
To listen to the episode on your preferred podcast player, go here.
Transcript is below the paywall for paying subscribers.
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