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Guinea Worm Veteran Tackles Trachoma

Kelly Callahan was 8 years old when she unwittingly charted her life’s course. “I was sitting under the dining table with my neighbor’s dog, listening to my mother’s conversation about Liberia,” Callahan said. “I thought, ‘Yeah—I’m going to go there.’ And from then on, I always knew I would go to Africa. I just didn’t know why or for what.”

Nineteen years later, Callahan finally made that trip to Africa, and she never looked back. Starting as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and eventually joining The Carter Center in South Sudan, she spent the next eight years on the continent working to eradicate Guinea worm, a parasitic disease that persists in remote areas with no access to clean water.

Today, she heads up the Carter Center's Trachoma Control Program which works to eliminate blinding trachoma, a bacterial eye disease.

Learn more about the Center's Trachoma Control Program:

Learn more about the Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program:

Learn more about Kelly Callahan:

Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. The Center wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope worldwide.

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