Blog

Category

Currently showing posts tagged Carter Center

  • Guinea Worm: Countdown to Zero

    After 22 years of fighting this horrible water-related disease, the Carter Center is within reach of eradicating it. This could be the second disease in human history to be wiped off the face of the earth.

    From the Carter Center website:

    How Guinea Worm is Contracted

    Guinea worm disease is contracted when a person drinks stagnant water that is contaminated with microscopic water fleas carrying infective larvae. Inside a person's body, the larvae grow for a year, becoming thin thread-like worms, up to 3-feet-long. These worms create agonizingly painful blisters in the skin, through which they slowly exit the body. People with emerging worms must not bathe or step in sources of drinking water, because a worm will release hundreds of thousands of eggs, or larvae, into the water. Water fleas then eat the larvae, and people who drink unfiltered water from the pond become infected—continuing the life cycle of the parasite.

  • Give the Gift of Making History

    Guinea worm is a parasitic disease contracted by drinking water contaminated with larvae. Inside the human body, the larvae mature into long, spaghetti-like worms that eventually exit the body through painful blisters in the skin. The crippling pain leaves victims unable to work or attend school, sometimes for months, until the worms completely emerge from the body. (Photo by Louise Gubb of the Carter Center.)

    History buffs on your holiday gift list will be flattered when you donate in their name to help the Carter Foundation make history by eradicating the Guinea Worm.

    The foundation is very close to eliminating this alien monstrosity. There are only 6 countries left with the disease, reporting 4,600 cases. That's down from 3.5 million cases in 1986. Help them finish up quickly.

    Eradication requires two things:

    1. Getting people to drink filtered water so they don't get the parasite to begin with.
    2. Containing the infected person during the time the worm crawls through their skin.

    Having a worm crawl through your skin is excruciating.

    If you are not convinced this gift is worthwhile, read Sadia's Story, provided by the Carter Foundation:

    Triumph Over Guinea Worm (2008)

    In 2007, Sadia Mesuna—a young girl from Savelugu town in Northern Ghana—spent two agonizing months in a Carter Center Guinea worm containment center with 20 other children suffering from the disease. Today, Sadia, 7, is Guinea worm-free and has returned to school. This is her story of triumph and a new life without fear.

    Sadia Mesuna, 6, was in agony in February 2007 as three Guinea worms emerged from her feet, forcing her to spend two months at the containment center. "It was very painful, especially when they were dressing my wounds," Sadia said. "It feels more painful than stepping on fire coals or being cut. And you don't feel like eating anything."

    After treatment, Sadia recovers in a quiet corner, also rediscovering her sense of humor as she dons a volunteer's sunglasses, worn upside down.

    Sadia returns some days to her school, but after her two-month absence with Guinea worm disease in 2007, she struggles to cope and catch up.

    "I'll only drink filtered water from now on," vowed Sadia.

  • Will Elephantiasis be a disease of the past?

    If the Carter Center has anything to say about it, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) will be eliminated by 2020. Like many diseases in the tropics, elephantiasis is transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites bites someone, it leaves worm larvae in the wound. The larvae swim to the lymph nodes in the person and make nests. The nests block the lymph system and cause fluid to build up. Female worms produce microscopic worms that swim in the blood of the infected person at night. A mosquito bites an infected person and picks up the worms to transmit to someone else.

    There is no cure for elephantiasis. You prevent it by using mosquito nets over beds at night and by taking de-worming medication. The Carter Center distributes netting and drugs (donated by two drug companies). The disease is referred to as elephantiasis because the later stages cause a person's skin to get hard and thick like an elephant's skin

    You can help them wipe out this disease by donating money.