The Government of South Sudan and the Carter Center announced today that there have been no cases of Guinea Worm disease in the country since Nov. 2016, i.e. the last 15 months. Because the Guinea worm life cycle is about a year, a 15-month absence of cases indicates the interruption of transmission.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter congratulated South Sudan saying, “The people and government of South Sudan have achieved a great milestone in the worldwide effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease. Today’s news is the fruit of good faith shown by all parties that agreed to the 1995 cease-fire during Sudan’s terrible civil war, allowing health workers to start a campaign of interventions against this horrible parasitic disease,” said Carter, who negotiated the cease-fire. “South Sudan’s success shows that people can collaborate for the common good. We look forward to certification by the WHO in the next few years that South Sudan has won the battle against this ancient scourge. We are within reach of a world free of Guinea worm disease.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” Same for those who work to eradicate terrible diseases.
It is also worth noting the pioneering work of Rosalynn Carter to increase awareness of mental health issues and policies to mitigate this disease. For decades, Rosalynn Carter crusaded for Mental Health parity in health insurance plans. In the late 1970’s Rosalynn was pilloried in the press for things like attending cabinet meetings and advocating within the White Houses for causes such as the Equal Rights Amendment and Mental Health Parity.
As we are reminded every day, every hour of the antics of Donald Trump let’s never lose sight of other examples of Presidential behavior and the promise of humanity itself. We should also remember the Biblical admonition against “false prophets” — a great example is the late Jerry Falwell and Trump supporter Jerry Falwell Jr. The elder Falwell made a career telling all sorts of lies against President Carter and distorting his stand about the rights of Gay Americans. Every day Falwell’s Liberty University poisons the minds of young Christians. Liberty is the largest University in Virginia.
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