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Major Guinea Worm Disease Announcement March 21 at The Carter Center

ATLANTA — South Sudan Minister of Health Dr. Riek Gai Kok will make a historic Guinea worm announcement during a 30-minute news conference at The Carter Center on the morning of Wednesday, March 21. The Carter Center, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), is hosting the 22nd annual review of the Guinea worm eradiation campaign in Atlanta, which is being attended by more than 100 international health experts and partners. The news conference will be led by eradication expert Dr. Donald R. Hopkins.

Attend in person to ask questions directly, learn more about this heroic effort to eradicate the first parasitic disease, and collect legacy interviews for the future, including interviews with field staff about the impact President Carter and Mrs. Carter have had around the world. Live broadcast details below.

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 10:20-10:50 a.m. EDT

Media to arrive by 9:45 a.m. to check-in and set up; complimentary coffee

LIVE Broadcast: The public may watch the press conference live on or on The Carter Center Facebook page (

Where: Cecil B. Day Chapel in the Ivan Allen Pavilion

The Carter Center: 453 Freedom Parkway Atlanta, Ga 30307

Enter the property via “Entrance #1, park, and walk to building #1 to access the building; reference map here

Who: South Sudan Minister of Health Dr. Riek Gai Kok and Carter Center’s Dr. Donald Hopkins.

What: EMBARGOED until 10:20 a.m. EDT on March 21: The honorable Minister of Health of South Sudan will announce with The Carter Center that the world’s newest nation has officially stopped transmission of Guinea worm disease. For many years, South Sudan was the most Guinea worm-endemic nation in world, but now has had zero cases for the last 15 consecutive months.

In 2017, only 30 human cases of Guinea worm disease were reported from two countries, Chad and Ethiopia, compared to approximately 3.5 million cases in 21 countries in Africa and Asia when The Carter Center began leading the international eradication campaign in 1986. Guinea worm is one of only two current disease eradication campaigns, polio being the other. We will issue a press release highlighting South Sudan’s achievements on Wednesday.

RSVP: By 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 20 to

More info:

Contact: Emily Staub,; (404) 520-5126


The Carter Center

"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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