Sebastian Adritia: 'Take this opportunity'

In his bid to fight river blindness, the local woodcutter takes it upon himself to alert others about drug distribution.

Last Modified: 01 Oct 2013 08:20
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Getting the river blindness treatment drug, Mectizan, to thousands of settlements posed a challenge to health authorities, until locals like Sebastian Adritia stepped forward.

The woodcutter, who himself suffers from the parasitic illness, gathers people in his community when the day for drug distribution arrives.

"People of Anguru. We are blessed to get our medicine for the filaria," announces Adritia, armed with just a megaphone.

"Take this opportunity everyone! Nobody must miss this drug distribution. It won’t cost you anything."

Adritia says he volunteers because it makes his people happy to know when the treatment arrives.

"Whenever they hear the distributor has come here they rush for the drugs," he says. "So you will see, people will come in good numbers tomorrow."

The drug is distributed to entire communities not just to those with the disease. Sebastian Adritia is one of many health heroes of Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health.

Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health will air on Al Jazeera in 2014.


Al Jazeera
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About LifeLines
Lifelines: The Quest For Global Health
is Al Jazeera's new cross-platform project profiling the extraordinary work of global health workers as they tackle eight deadly diseases and conditions that afflict vulnerable communities across the globe. These good news stories stretch from the Philippines to Pakistan, Uganda to South Sudan, India to Senegal, featuring the people who are working to prevent, control or eradicate malaria, rabies, polio, leprosy, schistosomiasis, Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma and maternal and neonatal mortality. Online, on screen and on the ground in affected communities, we will share their uplifting stories in Lifelines: The Quest For Global Health.
Sign up for regular updates about the people and their work around the world to tackle these diseases and conditions.
Lifelines will focus month by month on each condition here on our website and in 2014 will premiere an eight-part
documentary series on Al Jazeera English.