WHO AFRO – the ESPEN initiative

The main assembly room at the WHO in Geneva was full of excitement as partners from leading pharmaceutical companies, Ministers of Health from across Africa, scientists and the Gates Foundation gathered to discuss the elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases, a set of often-ignored and crippling diseases.

Working with a 2-person crew travelling over to Geneva for the day, we gauged the temperature in the room to capture the core messaging – and excitement!

The film was published along with the final report to give context to the people involved and ambition down the line.

London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases: 5th Anniversary

One in seven of the world’s population suffer from a neglected tropical disease. That’s more than the population of Europe. And yet, through large-scale mass drug distribution programmes in some of the poorest regions on the planet, nearly one billion people are now safer from these diseases than they were half a decade ago.

This film celebrates the 5th anniversary of a groundbreaking international coalition: Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Its aim is hugely ambitious yet highly focused: to control, eradicate or eliminate ten debilitating and potentially fatal tropical diseases by 2020. Here, we document some of the incredible progress so far.

This six-minute introductory film was shown to over 800 senior government officials and world health delegates at the World Health Organisation in Geneva in April 2017. With a revised version created for distribution on social media after the event, this brings the number of films we delivered to 15 – all of which help to share the positive impacts of this life-changing programme to a wider audience.

Leprosy in Ghana: Kofi’s Story

In the developing world, the impact of Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) is still being felt. For many with this debilitating condition, the social stigma (sometimes self-imposed) can lead to social exclusion and even estrangement from family.

In Ghana, Kofi Nyarko is a man on a mission. As someone who has had Hansen’s disease himself, he now dedicates his life to reuniting other sufferers with their families – some of whom haven’t seen their family in decades. In this moving film, Kofi shares his message of hope. Today, Hansen’s disease can easily be treated with a simple drug. But the social stigma is more difficult to overcome. We travel with him on two momentous days, as James and Ekua are reunited with their families after more than 30 years apart.

This film was commissioned by Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to give a human face to Hansen’s disease.