April 14, 2015, 1:28 pm
By The Carter Center
In 2014, Carter Center health programs assisted in the distribution of more drug treatments for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) than in any previous year, demonstrating the Center’s commitment to alleviating suffering and improving the lives of those who live in the world’s poorest and most isolated communities.
Drug-based treatments, in combination with health education and simple, low-cost methods, are at the core of the Center’s strategy in the fight against diseases. Also critical to the Center’s work are effective partnerships for change among international agencies, governments, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, national ministries of health, and most of all, with people at the grass roots level.
See below how Center-supported treatments last year reached record-breaking numbers: 60 million doses of treatment to approximately 39 million people.
Learn more about Carter Center programs to prevent and alleviate human suffering by fighting diseases:
RIVER BLINDNESS ELIMINATION PROGRAM
River blindness, also known as onchocerciasis, is a parasitic infection that can cause intense itching, skin discoloration, rashes, and eye disease that often leads to permanent blindness. It is spread by the bites of small black flies that breed in rapidly flowing rivers.
TRACHOMA CONTROL PROGRAM
Trachoma is a bacterial eye infection found in poor, isolated communities lacking clean water, adequate sanitation, and basic hygiene.
It is easily spread from person to person through eye-seeking flies, hands, and clothes. Repeated infection leads to scarring and inward turning of the eyelid — a very painful condition called trichiasis — eventually causing blindness if left untreated.
LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS ELIMINATION PROGRAM
A leading cause of permanent and long-term disability worldwide, lymphatic filariasis is caused by thin worms transmitted to humans by the bites of mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical regions, resulting in an irreversible condition called elephantiasis, in which there is a marked enlargement and hardening of the limbs so that they resemble those of an elephant.
SOIL TRANSMITTED HELMINTHIASIS
One of the most common infections worldwide, soil-transmitted helminthiasis is caused by intestinal worms (roundworm, whipworm, or hookworm) transmitted through contaminated soil.
Infections with STH can cause malnutrition, stunting of growth, anemia, abdominal pain, and weakness.
SCHISTOSOMIASIS CONTROL PROGRAM
Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharziasis or “snail fever,” is a waterborne parasitic infection that damages internal organs. The most common symptoms are blood in urine and/or feces and an enlarged liver, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, and anemia.
Schistosomiasis is contracted when a person has contact with contaminated water, often through daily activities such as bathing, washing laundry, and fetching water.