Posts tagged vii

Photo: Vaccines in Mali 2012 © Venetia Dearden/VII
Fatal NeglectVaccines: A Preventable Fate
Twenty percent of all the babies born in the world each year—the equivalent of nearly five times the children born yearly in the United States—are not getting the basic vaccines they need to be protected from killer diseases, such as measles.
And that’s why Venetia Dearden traveled to West African nation of Mali with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to see firsthand the importance of vaccines to families and the lengths to which they must go to get them. When MSF teams stage vaccination campaigns in the West African nation of Mali, mothers will come from hours away, sometimes days away.
In the best-case scenario, MSF and other agencies would bring the vaccines to them, wherever they lived, in whatever conditions. But this isn’t possible at present, because many of the vaccines available today are not tailored for the difficult environments in which they must be used. To give but one example: establishing and sustaining cold chain is very difficult in places where electricity is hard to come by, to say nothing of ice. That’s why MSF has been advocating for a global approach to vaccine development and dissemination that takes into account the conditions in the countries where these vaccines are most needed to half preventable deaths, as well as the particular strains of diseases found in various locations.

Photo: Vaccines in Mali 2012 © Venetia Dearden/VII

Fatal Neglect
Vaccines: A Preventable Fate

Twenty percent of all the babies born in the world each year—the equivalent of nearly five times the children born yearly in the United States—are not getting the basic vaccines they need to be protected from killer diseases, such as measles.

And that’s why Venetia Dearden traveled to West African nation of Mali with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to see firsthand the importance of vaccines to families and the lengths to which they must go to get them. When MSF teams stage vaccination campaigns in the West African nation of Mali, mothers will come from hours away, sometimes days away.

In the best-case scenario, MSF and other agencies would bring the vaccines to them, wherever they lived, in whatever conditions. But this isn’t possible at present, because many of the vaccines available today are not tailored for the difficult environments in which they must be used. To give but one example: establishing and sustaining cold chain is very difficult in places where electricity is hard to come by, to say nothing of ice. That’s why MSF has been advocating for a global approach to vaccine development and dissemination that takes into account the conditions in the countries where these vaccines are most needed to half preventable deaths, as well as the particular strains of diseases found in various locations.

Kala Azar: Still Waiting
Photo:Kala Azar in South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmeyer/VII
Fatal NeglectKala Azar: Still Waiting 
Some three decades ago, a mystery disease spread throughout Sudan and what is now South Sudan, decimating communities, sewing fear, and killing scores. It turned out to be kala azar, also known as visceral leishmanaisis, a disease that is spread by the bite of a sandfly and that is, as this episode showed, fatal if not treated.
MSF began caring for kala azar patients during that epidemic and has continued to do so through the present day, in both Sudan and South Sudan, and in other East African nations where the disease appears, as well as in South Asia. The needs are different in the different locations, because the strains of the disease found have their own particular characteristics. What unites them, however, is that the people trying to combat the disease are hamstrung by shortcomings in targeted research and development that has resulted in a lack of suitable diagnostics and treatment regimens.
MSF has successfully adapted its treatment protocols over the years in order to bring shorter, less toxic, and less painful options to patients, but as VII Photo’s John Stanmeyer saw on a recent trip to MSF projects in South Sudan, a great deal remains to be done in order to provide better, more specialized, more accessible treatment and testing, and to prevent further devastation.

Photo:Kala Azar in South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmeyer/VII

Fatal Neglect
Kala Azar: Still Waiting 

Some three decades ago, a mystery disease spread throughout Sudan and what is now South Sudan, decimating communities, sewing fear, and killing scores. It turned out to be kala azar, also known as visceral leishmanaisis, a disease that is spread by the bite of a sandfly and that is, as this episode showed, fatal if not treated.

MSF began caring for kala azar patients during that epidemic and has continued to do so through the present day, in both Sudan and South Sudan, and in other East African nations where the disease appears, as well as in South Asia. The needs are different in the different locations, because the strains of the disease found have their own particular characteristics. What unites them, however, is that the people trying to combat the disease are hamstrung by shortcomings in targeted research and development that has resulted in a lack of suitable diagnostics and treatment regimens.

MSF has successfully adapted its treatment protocols over the years in order to bring shorter, less toxic, and less painful options to patients, but as VII Photo’s John Stanmeyer saw on a recent trip to MSF projects in South Sudan, a great deal remains to be done in order to provide better, more specialized, more accessible treatment and testing, and to prevent further devastation.

Fatal Neglect
Chagas: Silent Killer

In Fatal Neglect: The Global Health Revolution’s Forgotten Patients, VII photographers Seamus Murphy, Venetia Dearden, Ron Haviv, and John Stanmeyer document the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the three deadliest neglected tropical diseases — (visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar), Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and Chagas — and vaccine-preventable diseases.

Photo: Chagas diseases in Paraguay 2012 © Seamus Murphy/VII
Fatal NeglectChagas: Silent Killer 
Though little known in the rest of the world, Chagas disease is far and away Latin America’s deadliest parasitic disease, affecting 10 million people worldwide. The disease spread by the bite of the so-called “kissing bug,” Chagas can lie undetected for years before it causes severe heart and gastrointestinal problem that can ultimately kill those who do not receive treatment.
Only two drugs are available to treat the disease, both developed over 40 years ago and not specifically for Chagas. It is possible to both diagnose and treat Chagas, but in too many cases, people living in the isolated regions where the disease proliferates cannot access the care and testing they need to protect themselves.
Since 1999, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working with Chagas patients in numerous countries and advocating for more targeted research and development, along with more aggressive national health policies. VII Photo’s Seamus Murphy visited Paraguay to document the impact of Chagas, examining the causes and the consequences of a disease that has been known, for too long, as the “silent killer.”

Photo: Chagas diseases in Paraguay 2012 © Seamus Murphy/VII

Fatal Neglect
Chagas: Silent Killer 

Though little known in the rest of the world, Chagas disease is far and away Latin America’s deadliest parasitic disease, affecting 10 million people worldwide. The disease spread by the bite of the so-called “kissing bug,” Chagas can lie undetected for years before it causes severe heart and gastrointestinal problem that can ultimately kill those who do not receive treatment.

Only two drugs are available to treat the disease, both developed over 40 years ago and not specifically for Chagas. It is possible to both diagnose and treat Chagas, but in too many cases, people living in the isolated regions where the disease proliferates cannot access the care and testing they need to protect themselves.

Since 1999, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working with Chagas patients in numerous countries and advocating for more targeted research and development, along with more aggressive national health policies. VII Photo’s Seamus Murphy visited Paraguay to document the impact of Chagas, examining the causes and the consequences of a disease that has been known, for too long, as the “silent killer.”

Fatal Neglect
Multidrug-Resistant TB: No Promises 

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Photo: Multidrug-Resistant TB in Tajikstan 2012 © Ron Haviv/VII
Fatal NeglectMultidrug-Resistant TB: No Promises 
Patients with tuberculosis must undergo lengthy, arduous treatment regimens in the best of times. When stricken with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB, however, the road back to health is even more difficult.
The most neglected are children living with MDR-TB. VII Photo’s Ron Haviv visited MSF’s pediatric MDR-TB program in Tajikistan, one of Asia’s poorest countries, where the disease is indeed spreading at an alarming rate. Through the experience of an MSF nurse trying to care for children suffering with the disease, Haviv documents this new and very dangerous medical front line.
REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.

Photo: Multidrug-Resistant TB in Tajikstan 2012 © Ron Haviv/VII

Fatal Neglect
Multidrug-Resistant TB: No Promises 

Patients with tuberculosis must undergo lengthy, arduous treatment regimens in the best of times. When stricken with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB, however, the road back to health is even more difficult.

The most neglected are children living with MDR-TB. VII Photo’s Ron Haviv visited MSF’s pediatric MDR-TB program in Tajikistan, one of Asia’s poorest countries, where the disease is indeed spreading at an alarming rate. Through the experience of an MSF nurse trying to care for children suffering with the disease, Haviv documents this new and very dangerous medical front line.

REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.

People are dying of archaic diseases. Why are we in this situation?

The fact that we need to make an investment in should not scare people. Especially in the times that we’re living in with difficult economic conditions. We have to make governments understand that this is not just an issue of responsibility, but it’s an investment that’s really going to pay off in the future. We can’t continue to keep ourselves in a system that result in people dying all over our planet from preventable causes.

Fatal Neglect:  The Global Health Revolution’s Forgotten Patients

Today we’re launching a six-part film series that tells the stories of patients left behind by the global health revolution. VII Photo Agency’s Seamus Murphy, Venetia Dearden, Ron Haviv, and John Stanmeyer document the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, the three deadliest neglected tropical diseases — (visceral leishmaniasis (kala azar), Human African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and Chagas — and vaccine-preventable diseases.

Photo: Sleeping Sickness in South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmeyer/VII
Fatal NeglectSleeping Sickness: The Long Road
For centuries, sleeping sickness, or Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), caused havoc in isolated reaches of Africa, preying on people with no access to medical care or those unaware of the biological dangers they faced when wading into a foreign land.
Sleeping sickness is endemic in 36 African countries and around 60 million people are at risk of being infected. Spread by the bite of a tsetse fly, the disease was signaled by the onset of fever, headaches, and joint pain, followed by disorientation and profound fatigue that makes it difficult to stay awake—hence the name sleeping sickness.
Between 1986 and 2010, MSF teams in several countries screened nearly 3 million people and treated more than 51,000 for the disease. At present, MSF has sleeping sickness programs in several other African countries as well. Collectively, this experience has made clear the need not only for ongoing vigilance, but also for new and easier diagnostic tests and shorter, more adaptable treatment regimens for patients.
VII Photo’s John Stanmeyer joined one of MSF’s mobile HAT teams, which was designed to augment fixed-site screening and treatment activities in Central Africa, allowing him a firsthand look at the modern-day effort to battle this age-old scourge.
REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.

Photo: Sleeping Sickness in South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmeyer/VII

Fatal Neglect
Sleeping Sickness: The Long Road

For centuries, sleeping sickness, or Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), caused havoc in isolated reaches of Africa, preying on people with no access to medical care or those unaware of the biological dangers they faced when wading into a foreign land.

Sleeping sickness is endemic in 36 African countries and around 60 million people are at risk of being infected. Spread by the bite of a tsetse fly, the disease was signaled by the onset of fever, headaches, and joint pain, followed by disorientation and profound fatigue that makes it difficult to stay awake—hence the name sleeping sickness.

Between 1986 and 2010, MSF teams in several countries screened nearly 3 million people and treated more than 51,000 for the disease. At present, MSF has sleeping sickness programs in several other African countries as well. Collectively, this experience has made clear the need not only for ongoing vigilance, but also for new and easier diagnostic tests and shorter, more adaptable treatment regimens for patients.

VII Photo’s John Stanmeyer joined one of MSF’s mobile HAT teams, which was designed to augment fixed-site screening and treatment activities in Central Africa, allowing him a firsthand look at the modern-day effort to battle this age-old scourge.

REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.

In December 2012, MSF, VII Photo and UNION HZ will release FATAL NEGLECT, a five-part documentary film project, to tell the stories of millions of patients left behind by the global health revolution.
The award-winning photojournalists traveled to Mali, Paraguay, South Sudan, and Tajikistan to capture the stories of frontline health workers trying to fight diseases that affect millions of people and kill hundreds of thousands each year yet garner little attention from drug developers, policy makers, or the mass media.
REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.

In December 2012, MSF, VII Photo and UNION HZ will release FATAL NEGLECT, a five-part documentary film project, to tell the stories of millions of patients left behind by the global health revolution.

The award-winning photojournalists traveled to Mali, Paraguay, South Sudan, and Tajikistan to capture the stories of frontline health workers trying to fight diseases that affect millions of people and kill hundreds of thousands each year yet garner little attention from drug developers, policy makers, or the mass media.

REGISTER NOW to join the live webcast of our conference this week on global health, neglected diseases, and R&D.