CLIENT: SIGHTSAVERS & UTC NTDs
DISTRIBUTION: SOCIAL MEDIA/COMPANY WEBSITE
LOCATION: KENYA, UGANDA AND ETHIOPIA
“Because of the health education and the environmental changes, trachoma is reducing”
Charles, Programme Officer
In parts of rural Africa, the life-changing impact of Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases is plain for everyone to see. In this film, we take a behind-the- scenes view at the work of the mobile eye surgery team as it tracks down people with trachoma in some of the remotest parts of Kenya.
This condition, which is caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis, can lead to pain in the eyes, reduced vision and eventually blindness. In dry regions, it is particularly rampant.
Thankfully, 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.
Trachoma can have a devastating impact on people’s lives – especially in rural regions where treatment is not available and prevention education programmes are not in place. So we were excited to document this fantastic programme reaching out to some of Africa’s poorest and remotest regions and restoring sight for people who, in many cases, had been blind for years.
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.