NWC News Desk

Public health expert to speak at NWC April 11 on life in Sudan

Posted March 29, 2011

POWELL, Wyo. - Peter Choi, a public health expert who spent time living and working in Sudan, will be at Northwest College Monday, April 11, to discuss his experiences and show a documentary film about conditions in the war-ravaged African country.

Choi, a Spokane, Wash., resident, will give his presentation at 4 p.m. in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building on campus. The event is free to the public.

“I will be screening a documentary titled “Foul Water, Fiery Serpent” about guinea worm eradication efforts by various countries and the (Jimmy) Carter Center,” Choi said. “I will then discuss working and living in South Sudan.”

Choi grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in integrative biology. After some graduate coursework in education, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and a science teacher in Los Angeles. He then received his master's degree in community-oriented public health practice from the University of Washington.

In 2010 he lived in Southern Sudan, working for the Carter Center as a technical adviser for South Sudan’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program.

According to the Carter Center website, Sudan remains the greatest challenge to Guinea worm disease eradication. It reported approximately 20,300 cases in 2006, a significant but expected increase from the 5,569 reported in 2005.

The increase in cases followed the January 2005 peace accord between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army, which has allowed health workers to reach areas previously inaccessible due to conflict. Today, Southern Sudan claims approximately 81 percent of all remaining cases of Guinea worm disease in the world.

The largest country on the African continent, Sudan will split into two countries this summer. Upon independence, the southernmost nation is expected to be named the Republic of South Sudan.

Choi’s presentation in Powell is sponsored by the Northwest College Diversity Awareness Committee. For more information, email or call the committee’s co-chair Holly J. Wolcott at 307-754-6444.