Jimmy Carter kickstarted the global eradication of Guinea Worm disease. Credit: Carter center

How Guinea Worm Disease Came to the Cusp of Global Eradication

Humanity is tantalizingly close to killing off the last Guinea Worm. This is a water born parasite that when ingested grows and grows until it painfully exits the body through a lesion in the skin. There is no treatment for it. There is no cure for it. But it can be prevented. And if prevented everywhere, Guinea Worm Disease will be eradicated.

We are now on the cusp of that moment. In 2022, there were just 13 confirmed human cases of Guinea Worm Disease around the world. This is down from three and a half million cases in the early 1980s.  At the center of the global campaign to eradicate guinea worm disease is the Carter Center Joining me from Mali is Adam Joseph Weiss, director of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program at the Carter Center who explains why Guinea Worm Disease may be the second disease (after smallpox) to ever become eradicated thanks to human effort.

To listen to this episode on your preferred podcast listening app, go here.