NonprofitWe're The Carter Center, and we're competing in 100&Change, the MacArthur Foundation's $100 million competition to fund a single proposal aimed at solving a critical problem. Our proposal is to end "river blindness". AUA!
Jun 13th 2017 by macfound • 10 Questions • 110 Points
Hey reddit! We're The Carter Center, one of eight organizations competing in the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change competition for a $100 million grant. Learn more about their competition:
We're here to answer your questions.*
About our proposal: we are trying to eliminate transmission of river blindness disease in Nigeria, creating a model for the rest of Africa and the world. We will work through community-directed distribution systems to administer the drug ivermectin (Mectizan®, donated by Merck & Co.) once or twice per year. This medicine is proven to stop transmission of the condition. About river blindness: River blindness causes devastating socio-economic repercussions in Africa, resulting in food insecurity, lack of education for children who must care for blinded parents, intergenerational poverty, and social stigma.
We will be on at 11 AM ET to answer your questions. AUA! Our proposal and how community volunteers will be key to our success:
*Important caveat: This AMA is a public engagement opportunity for you, reddit, to learn more about our proposal. We won’t win the $100 million competition based on this AMA, and there's nobody paying us to do this AMA. We're just taking questions and are thrilled to engage and discuss this very important issue.
EDIT: We're on! Ask us anything!
FINAL EDIT: Thanks everyone! We greatly appreciate your participation. We hope we answered everyone's questions. We are now closing this AMA.
I think TCC really deserves this. It is the most impressive finalist imo.
Which component of the programs is the most important? For example: education, antibiotics, etc.
Which will receive the most of this $100 million?
Thank you! You are so kind! All components of the initiative are very important and complementary. We won't be successful without all of the components operating at their full capacity. That said, I can share with you my favorite component, which I think I've mentioned already, which is that of the community leadership in the process. It really goes beyond just health education. It's about people volunteering their own time to provide their friends, families, and neighbors with a safe medicine that has immediate and noticeable benefits. Imagine the terrible nonstop itching and skin disease that's quickly alleviated with a dose of a few donated tablets. And in the end, I hope that even after the disease is gone, once and for all there will be empowered people who will be asking what they can do next in partnership with their government to improve their health. When I traveled to Nigeria last month and visited some villages, I was thrilled by the dedication of the people to this program. (Frank Richards)
how will the national program handle areas previously determined to be hypo-endemic but currently being treated with IVM through LF programme? Will all hypo-endemic areas be remapped?
This is a great but very technical question. I hope to figure out a way to communicate with you to answer. The National Onchocerciasis Elimination Committee in Nigeria (a link to their deliberations will soon be on our website) addresses some of these issues, but others will need to be solved through a very active operations research element of the MacArthur proposal.