The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) helped the film crew for Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health with their film on polio in Pakistan, where people have been killed by extremists for vaccinating children against this crippling disease.
After a huge international effort, polio now occurs in only three countries – the northern part of Nigeria and the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan - but the whole world remains at risk of infection if even a single polio case remains.
UNICEF is a UN programme working across the world to reduce deaths by improving the health of mothers and children at greatest risk.
Bringing practical solutions to the many threats to children, UNICEF is a significant player in eradicating polio from the world.
The Carter Centre, a non governmental, not-for-profit organisation founded in 1982 by former US President Jimmy Carter, is a leader in ridding the world of a number of preventable diseases.
The center helped the Lifelines production team with their films on the infectious causes of blindness - river blindness and trachoma - in Uganda and Ethiopia respectively, and with Guinea worm disease in South Sudan.
The Carter Center has been behind global efforts to eradicate this ancient disease where meter-long worms make their way out through the flesh of the human body, and they have had extraordinary success: over the 27 years of the project Guinea worm disease has dropped from 3.5 million cases in 21 countries, to just over 500 cases in only four countries in 2012. So, will Guinea worm finally become a horror of the past?
The Lifelines team accompanied the Carter Center down treacherous roads to a remote area of South Sudan, the world’s newest country, in search of the last epicenter of Guinea worm disease in the world.
| Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC)
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) in a not-for-profit organisation that helped the Lifelines team capture real-life stories on the control of rabies in the Philippines.
Rabies is spread to humans through the bite of an infected animal, usually a dog, and is the world's deadliest virus. Once it gets into the nervous system it is 100 percent fatal and the death is agonising and heart breaking.
But rabies is also 100 percent preventable and GARC's mission is to eliminate rabies through large-scale vaccination of dogs, and to reduce human death from rabies by early anti-rabies treatment to human bite victims.
GARC is saving lives even where resources are limited.
| Projet-Crevette (Schistosomiasis) and the 20/20 Initiative
Projet-Crevette in a not-for-profit organisation that helped Lifelines with their film on Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) in the lower Senegal River Basin.
This freshwater parasite is spread to humans in rivers, streams, lakes and canals through infected freshwater snails. And as water is central to river people’s lives for bathing, laundry, swimming, fishing or growing rice, so they are always at risk of infection.
At first schistosomiasis makes people weak and tired, but in time it kills by causing organ failure and cancer.
Projet-Crevette has an ecological approach to stopping this devastating disease by restoring the balance of nature. Twenty five years ago after the building of a dam wall on the Senegal River, a native species of prawn became extinct above the wall because their migratory path to breed was blocked. But the prawns eat the snails.
So, can Projet-Crevette reduce the risk of schistosomiasis by reintroducing these prawns to the river? And how can that be done?
The Lifelines team looks forward to sharing the answers to these questions with their audience.
Malaria No More helped the Lifelines team make its documentary on malaria in Tanzania.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. Yet, it takes the life of an African child every minute.
Malaria No More was born of a simple, startling insight that ending malaria deaths is the best humanitarian investment we can make in the world today. The organisation is helping Africa accomplish this by engaging leaders, rallying the public internationally, and delivering life-saving tools and education to families.
Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health will air on Al Jazeera in 2014.
Source: Al Jazeera