As much as needed, as long as needed

Staying the course is what it has taken to see River Blindness, a remote neglected tropical disease carried by the bites of black flies, slowly becoming a disease of the past.

In 1987, Merck committed to donate Mectizan – as much as needed, for as long as needed – with the goal to help eliminate river blindness. To celebrate the Mectizan Donation Program‘s 35th anniversary we went through our archives of footage, some filmed by us, some by scientists many years ago, and worked with a South African graphics artist to tell the story of 35 years of progress towards eliminating one of the most robust diseases known to mankind.

With a bespoke composed soundtrack and in-house voice-over, we managed condense 35 years into a powerful 3 and a half minutes!

The film was shown at the annual Mectizan Expert Committee meeting in Malawi in 2022, and since was sent out by MSD CEO Rob Davis to all their staff.


Stamp Out Oncho: One Persistent Woman

Mme Chebin is on the frontline of community drug distribution to eradicate Onchocerciasis (also known as oncho). She lets nothing get in the way of her making sure that each and every person takes their Mectizan treatment in her community in Cameroon.

The effectiveness of partners in the Task Force For Global Health‘s programmes such as Mectizan Donation Program are thanks to a global network that reaches far-off places that are often without formal medical infrastructure. For last mile delivery of lifesaving medicine, its often down to community drug distributors like Mme Chebin to come to the aid of their fellow community members.

This interview on the fight against oncho and many others from this trip to Cameroon was the result of using a local core team working with local partners and a shooting director from the UK, Lewis Davies filming to a script and schedule that allowed for space to spend time with people like Mme Chebin.

As experts in global health storytelling, we’ve had many opportunities to hone our craft, and get to understand the realities on the ground that make for emotive stories which burst the bubble. Years of fine-tuning our approach to interviews, and the use of a trusted network of local expert filmmakers, have enabled us to develop our approach and deliver video content that are compelling and deliver key messaging where it’s needed.

To find out more about how we craft films that have positive impact, take a look at our Malaria Storytelling article.