Posts Tagged myanmar

Shining Some LIGHT on Communities with NTDs

September 18th, 2013

Join the Lights crew hard at work filming at a school. Photo by Join the Lights.

Join the Lights crew hard at work filming at a school. Photo by Join the Lights.

Storytelling is at the crux of our work at the END7 campaign and our mission to control and eliminate seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

We know that before people will take action to support any issue or cause, they have to be informed, inspired and connected to it.  That’s why we’re working to ensure that people are aware of more than just the facts about NTDs, and that they also have an opportunity to see and hear the real stories of families and communities who are struggling to fight and overcome these diseases.

We were thrilled to recently meet another group that shares our same vision of making positive change through storytelling – Join the Lights.  A creative media non-profit, Join the Lights is partnering with us to document and share the progress toward controlling NTDs in Myanmar.  The country’s latest nationwide mass drug administration campaign took place just last week, with support from END7.

This wasn’t Join the Lights’ first experience with NTDs.  Film crew members Davis, Tim and Kevin shared with us that they have already needed to seek treatment for parasitic diseases like intestinal worms and schistosomiasis over the past year while they’ve been traveling to remote parts of Latin America, Africa and South East Asia.

While they’ve had their own experiences battling NTDs, traveling with END7 and our partners allowed Join the Lights to witness what NTD control efforts are like on a large scale.  This year’s campaign involved extensive logistics to deliver medicines around the country and the training and mobilization of community health workers to deliver treatments to more than 20 million people – half of them children – in a period of just one week.

We’re thankful to have the added power of Join the Lights’ storytelling expertise behind us in our efforts to control and eliminate NTDs in Myanmar and around the world.

You can follow along with them on Facebook  to see the progress on their work, and stay tuned for us to share the final product later this year!

NTD Treatment to Reach Millions in a Country Cloaked in Mystery

August 30th, 2013


In two weeks, a school-age child somewhere in the mountainous region of Thaton, Myanmar will hold out their hand and receive a tiny white pill. They’ll take a gulp from a cup of water, swallow it, and then move on with their day.

It’s a simple transaction that lasts five seconds, but this routine provision of medicine has big implications for the health and development of Myanmar.

Neglected tropical diseases like elephantiasis currently pose a risk to more than 80 percent of the population of Myanmar.   Common among people living in poverty, these diseases often cause or worsen health conditions like anemia and malnutrition, which affect large portions of the population in Myanmar.  The country is one of the poorest among its neighbors in the South/Southeast Asia region.

That’s why last year we supported the training of hundreds of community health workers who helped to deliver donated medicine to millions of people in schools and homes around the country.

This September, we’re doing it again. With support from END7 as well as other development partners like the World Health Organization and pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline, the government of Myanmar is leading a mass drug administration campaign that will reach an estimated 22 million people with treatment.

Despite many challenges, Myanmar is making substantial progress in controlling and eliminating NTDs.  Lack of available resources to implement the program is the primary challenge now, and this is something we can change.

Burmese Nobel Laurete and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi once noted, “We will surely get to our destination if we join hands.”  We know that there’s a brighter future for children in Myanmar if they’re free from NTDs.

Will you share this message with your friends instead? 

Celebrating freedom, dignity and the end of neglected tropical diseases

November 21st, 2012

This weekend, President Obama made a historic visit to Myanmar, becoming the first US President to visit the country. In his address, the President celebrated the country’s shift towards democracy, and the efforts of its inspirational leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. He noted, “Here, through so many difficult years, is where she displayed such unbreakable courage and determination. It’s here where she showed that human freedom and dignity cannot be denied.”

President Obama’s visit also gives us an opportunity to celebrate the commitment and achievements of Myanmar in combating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). NTDs also threaten human freedom and dignity by causing disabilities, disfigurement and stigmatization.  These devastating diseases limit people’s abilities to take care of their families, contribute to their communities and build their country. Read more: Celebrating freedom, dignity and the end of neglected tropical diseases