By Andrian Putra
Buckhead, March 3, 2023 – The Guinea Worm Eradication Program, led by The Carter Center, was honored with the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize in the medical services category at the residence of the Consul General of Japan Atlanta. The prize recognizes the program’s efforts to make Guinea worm disease the first human disease to be eradicated since smallpox in 1980.
“The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize signifies the government of Japan’s high level of interest and involvement in the health and welfare of the people of Africa. We fully support the effort of the Carter Center in its effort to eradicate guile worm in Africa,” said Consul General Mio Maeda in his remarks.
“We at The Carter Center are very grateful for this prestigious award from such an important partner,” said Dr. Kashef Ijaz, VP of Health Programs, The Carter Center.
A citation and medal award ceremony was held at the residence of the Consul General with invited guests from the Carter Center and selected distinguished guests.
Guests were treated to a traditional Japanese buffet style dinner. Jim Reed, President of YKK Corporation of America led a celebratory toast in recognition of the award winner.
The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize comprises a citation and a medal for each laureate and an honorarium of 100 million yen. A nominating committee identifies a list of finalists for the prizes, and the prime minister of Japan makes the final decision.
The government of Japan has supported the Carter Center and its partners in the Guinea worm eradication effort since 1989. When The Carter Center assumed leadership of the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program in 1986, an estimated 3.5 million cases occurred annually, mostly in Africa. In 2021, there were just 15 cases. As of the end of June, just two cases had been provisionally reported in 2022.