Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Atlanta-based Center has helped improve the quality of life for tens of millions of people in more than 70 countries. The Carter Center’s health programs tackle preventable diseases often ignored by others. Through integrated grassroots programming, Carter Center experts are helping people in the world’s most impoverished communities take steps to transform their own lives.
The Carter Center has been at the cutting edge of both malaria and lymphatic filariasis prevention programming in Africa since 1998. In an unprecedented effort, The Carter Center and its partners are working to show that the transmission of lymphatic filariasis can be interrupted on a large scale in Nigeria with mass community drug treatment, mosquito nets, and health education. The Center also has been involved with innovative efforts to stop malaria on a national scale in Ethiopia—including assisting with the distribution of 3 million long-lasting insecticidal nets in a matter of months to the nation’s three most affected regions. All of these activities build upon established networks of community-based health care that the Center, working with health officials, created several years ago to help address other neglected diseases.
Both lymphatic filariasis and malaria exact a heavy price from the people of Nigeria. The nation is the most endemic in Africa for lymphatic filariasis and harbors approximately one-quarter of all cases of malaria on the continent. In Kanke, providing medicines alone have not been sufficient to stop transmission of lymphatic filariasis, and fewer than 10 percent of households have sufficient numbers of treated nets to protect all household members from malaria.* Because the same mosquito transmits malaria and lymphatic filariasis, DuraNets are a vital tool in combating both diseases.
*This is according to Jonathan King’s 2007 survey of the area.