Sleeping sickness has been a major health problem in South Sudan for the last century. Transmitted by the tse tse fly, it can be fatal if left untreated. Over a ten-week period, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mobile teams based in Kajo Keji traveled to remote villages where patients have little access to medical care, screening over 37,000 people for the disease and providing treatment to those in need.
This short video report details a conference co-hosted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Global Health Program in New York by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) that brought researchers, global health experts, and donors together to discuss the profound need for research and development initiatives in the field of neglected diseases. Since these diseases usually affect poor populations, research for finding better drugs and diagnostics for them is scarce. Click here for more details on the conference.
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), VII Photo, and UNION HZ present FATAL NEGLECT, a six-part documentary film project, that tells the stories of millions of patients left behind by the global health revolution. In Fatal Neglect: The Global Health Revolution’s Forgotten Patients, VII photographers Seamus Murphy, Venetia Dearden, Ron Haviv, and John Stanmeyer document the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the three deadliest neglected tropical diseases—(visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar), Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and Chagas—and vaccine-preventable diseases. The award-winning photojournalists traveled to Mali, Paraguay, South Sudan, and Tajikistan to capture the stories of frontline health workers trying to fight diseases that affect millions of people and kill hundreds of thousands each year yet garner little attention from drug developers, policy makers, or the mass media.
In Paraguay, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is covering the rural Chaco region, encouraging people to be tested and treated for Chagas, a widespread but little known and potentially fatal disease.
Kala Azar is a neglected tropical disease responsible for 51,000 deaths every year. MSF Health Advisor Koert Ritmeijer explains that while treatment for the disease is lengthy, once cured, individuals cannot contract the disease again. Left untreated, the disease is 100 percent fatal.
Sleeping sickness is a major health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. With existing medicines either cumbersome to administer or a cause of intense side effects, a new and cheaper therapy, NECT, holds great promise of benefitting thousands of vulnerable patients.