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Published on Sep 29, 2015
Watch former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s video message accepting an award from Merck recognizing the Carter Center’s contributions to the campaign against river blindness (onchocerciasis) in the Americas region.
The award was presented at the headquarters of Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C., during a celebration of the long-term public-private coalition of organizations dedicated to fighting river blindness in the Americas: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela. Today, four of the six countries have eliminated transmission of the disease, and transmission continues only in the cross-border region between Venezuela and Brazil.
The Carter Center, through its Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA), has led the campaign to wipe out river blindness in the Americas since 1996, playing a key role in assisting the six ministries of health in affected Latin American countries to eliminate transmission within their borders. Since 1986, The Carter Center has pioneered multiple disease elimination projects in Africa and Latin America.
Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. The Center wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope worldwide.