LAGOS, Nigeria -- Former President Jimmy Carter, on a two-day private visit to Nigeria, met President Ibrahim Babangida and other officials Sunday to discuss disease control and rural development projects.
Carter, accompanied by his wife, Rosalynn, met with officials immediately after his arrival and discussed the eradication of the disease 'Guinea worm' with Health Minister Olikoye Ransome-Kuti.
Guinea worm is a water-borne disease ravaging several parts of Nigeria.
Carter, 63, is the founder of Global 2000, a humanitarian project that supports the fight against Guinea worm and other rural assistance projects.
Ransome-Kuti told Carter the disease now affects all of Nigeria's 21 states and has resulted in great economic losses, particularly in agriculture. People aflicted with the disease are incapacitated.
Nigerian medical experts say about 2.5 million people in Nigeria are yearly afflicted with Guinea worm.
Carter said his foundation will provide technical advice and financing for programs to fight the disease in Nigeria. He said with Nigerian and U.S. cooperation, Guinea worm could be eradicated by 1995.
The former president met late Sunday with Babangida for a private talk. The topics discussed were not immediately revealed, but had been expected to include disease control efforts and development projects.
Carter, who visited Nigeria as president in April 1976, was to attend a private dinner in his honor given by Rear Adm. Augustus Aikhomu, chief of general staff and the second in charge in the Lagos government.
Carter was scheduled to leave early Monday for Accra, Ghana, in continuation of a tour of African nations.