Leadership Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

Sightsavers had originally wanted to invite three community medicine distributors form around Africa to speak at the launch of the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Declaration, at the Natural History Museum in London. With the WHO and Gates Foundation amongst the delegates they wanted to communicate the success stories on the ground. However getting visas in such a short space of time ruled this out.

Wrangling with customs officers, visas and hugely long car journeys we filmed over 10 days in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, where we travelled to the remotest regions to hear these people’s stories.

Hosted by Sightsavers and attended by over 200 people from across the pharma, donor and NGO sectors incl. the Gates Foundation and World Health Organisation, the film was used to launch a discussion on the importance of attaining the WHO 2020 goals for neglected tropical diseases.


London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases: 5th Anniversary

One in seven of the world’s population suffer from neglected tropical diseases. That’s more than the population of Europe. And yet, through large-scale drug 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.

The 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. Post event a revised version was created for distribution on social media. In total, we delivered 15 films to help 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.


The Most Remote Corner of the Earth

This film gives an insight into the effort that goes into every Cloud9Media international trip.

Steve attached a chest-mount go-pro and shot a ten day trip across Africa. The film was looking into the leadership built around the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases.


Remote African Eye Surgery

Charles and his remote eye surgery team (supported by Sightsavers and UTCNTDs) is on hand to find people with trachoma and transport them to the mobile eye surgery where they can be treated. A simple operation can be hugely effective, often restoring full sight. Equally importantly, health education work is being carried out in these regions to help prevention of trachoma, which is transmitted by flies, for future generations.

To film the story, we took a five-hour road trip from Nairobi to Kajioda County to work in dry and sometimes difficult shooting conditions. But it was truly inspiring to see the impact that this programme is having on individuals and families – people come in blind, and they leave with their vision restored. Thanks to the work of UTCNTDs, Sightsavers and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, who support local healthcare teams, we think this is a truly awesome programme. The film was played at the UTCNTDs UN conference in 2015, and we were proud to help share this story with a wider audience.