Medical News and Perspectives
October 24/31, 2007

Persistence Pays Off in Guinea Worm Fight

JAMA. 2007;298(16):1856-1857. doi:10.1001/jama.298.16.1856

Last February, when Ernesto Ruiz-Tiben, PhD, accompanied former US President Jimmy Carter and his staff to Savelugu, Ghana, they were greeted with a heart-wrenching sight. More than 300 people, mostly children, flocked to a makeshift dracunculiasis clinic, hoping to obtain relief for pain so intense that the ancient Egyptians had called it a fiery serpent.

“It breaks your heart to see so much misery,” says Ruiz-Tiben, director of dracunculiasis eradication at the Carter Center, a nonprofit human rights organization founded by the former president.

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