Guinea Worm Eradication Program (GWEP)

When the Carter Center began leading the international campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease in 1986, there were an estimated 3.5 million cases in 21 countries in Africa and Asia. Today, that number has been reduced by more than 99.9 percent.

Guinea Worm Eradication Program (GWEP)

Established in 1986 and operating under the auspices of the Carter Center’s Global 2000 Program, the Guinea Worm Eradication Program aimed to rid future generations of guinea worm by the year 2000. This multilateral partnership brings together organizations like the WHO, UNICEF, the CDC and the World Bank, as well as the national governments and the pharmaceutical industry, in a program combining the eradication efforts, training and research.

Guinea worm disease is set to become the second human disease in history, after smallpox, to be eradicated. It will be the first parasitic disease to be eradicated and the first disease to be eradicated without the use of a vaccine or medicine.

Today the numbers of this disease have been reduced worldwide by 99.9 per cent. Incidences of Guinea worm disease have been reduced from an estimated 3.5 million in 1986 to 148 in 2013. Today there are only six reported cases worldwide; three in Chad and three in South Sudan.


  • The Carter Center

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and...

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

    Funding Agencies
    Staff size: 5001-10,000

    WHO (World Health Organisation) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters,...

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - United States

    Institute, Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting public health...

  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

    Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children's...

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Key Information

LocationWest Africa, Eastern Africa, Chad, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Mali
  • Start Date 1986