HANSEN’S (LEPROSY) DISEASE 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.
“Just keeping up with Kofi was one of the biggest challenges on this project, he has so much energy and passion!” said Steve Maud, Shooting Director. “To witness the moments when James and Ekua are finally reunited with their families was incredibly moving – it really brings home the often self-imposed stigma that this disease represents.”