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Video for neglected tropical diseases challenges viewers

Non-profit organisation END7 asks: 'Can you watch what they watched?'

A new video that aims to support the global mission to eradicate seven tropical diseases in the developing world by 2020 has been launched by non-profit organisation END7.

The video, which makes for difficult viewing, shows celebrities Emily Blunt, Priyanka Chopra and Eddie Redmayne watching the effects of these diseases with the tag line 'Can you watch what they watched?'.

As part of this new awareness-raising activity, END7 is encouraging everyone to share the link on their Facebook page.

More than 1.4 billion people are affected worldwide by roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, blinding trachoma, elephantiasis, snail fever and river blindness, over half a billion them children. The seven diseases represent 90 per cent of the total global neglected tropical disease (NTD) burden.

In January 2012 leaders from 13 pharma companies, US, UK and United Arab Emirates governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and other organisations met in London and announced their support for eliminating 10 NTDs.

END7 – which is one of several initiatives by the non-profit organisation the Sabin Vaccine Institute – was launched the same month.

Speaking in January 2012, Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, said: “Many companies and organisations have worked for decades to fight these horrific diseases. But no one company or organisation can do it alone. Today, we pledge to work hand-in-hand to revolutionise the way we fight these diseases now and in the future.”

In what was described by Reuters in January 2012 as the largest coordinated effort by the world's major pharmaceutical companies, the group promised to give away 14bn doses of medicines by the end of the decade and share expertise to develop medicines for NTDs without known treatments.

In 2012 the World Health Organization issued its Accelerating Work to Overcome the Global Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases roadmap for tackling the problem of NTDs.

16th May 2013

From: Marketing

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