GLIDE Launches Series of Online Videos on Disease Elimination
2 February 2022 – The Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) has launched a series of online videos (webisodes) to raise awareness about the importance of eliminating infectious diseases around the world. The launch took place today at a special screening of the first webisode at EXPO 2020 Dubai’s UAE Pavilion to coincide with the Health & Wellness Week at EXPO.
The series of four webisodes was produced as part of GLIDE’s mission to raise awareness of disease elimination and provides insights into global efforts to eliminate infectious diseases of poverty. The series profiles GLIDE’s partnerships and work across its current diseases of focus: malaria, polio, lymphatic filariasis, and river blindness, highlighting work in Pakistan, Cameroon, and the island of Hispaniola.
Polio: The Endgame is the first instalment in the commissioned webisode series. It focuses on how we are close to eradicating wild polio, which is endemic in only two countries – Afghanistan and Pakistan. If efforts in these countries are successful, polio will be only the second human disease in history to be eradicated. The webisode follows a World Health Organization polio surveillance officer in Pakistan and the methods used to track transmission and conduct immunisation campaigns to bring the world closer to polio eradication.
The exclusive screening was attended by key representatives including Dr. Maha Barakat, Director General of the Frontline Heroes Office and Board Member of GLIDE; Tala Al Ramahi, Associate Director, Office of Strategic Affairs, Crown Prince Court; and Simon Bland, CEO of GLIDE. Following the screening, a live Q&A took place which was moderated by an epidemiologist and public figure in the UAE, Esraa Bani.
The remaining webisodes highlight efforts in eliminating river blindness, malaria and lymphatic filariasis across Africa and the Americas. The webisodes series can be watched in full through this link.
Malaria, polio and neglected tropical diseases such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis continue to impact the lives of billions of people around the world, with devastating consequences on their health as well as on communities and economies. Eliminating these preventable infectious diseases would be a great human achievement and improve the lives and livelihood of people in nearly 100 countries.
Dr Maha Barakat, Director General of the Frontline Heroes Office and Board Member of GLIDE added: “NTDs cause immense suffering; yet these diseases can be controlled or eliminated with medical interventions, better sanitary provision, and education. The UAE has long been committed to ridding the world of preventable diseases, a vision which started with the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, who recognised the importance of investing in global health. GLIDE, being an initiative of the Crown Prince Court and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a direct continuation of Sheikh Zayed’s vision and we hope the webisodes encourage others to step up to the mark and play their role in enabling health for all.”
Simon Bland, Chief Executive Officer of GLIDE, commented: “We are pleased to launch these videos, which we hope will raise awareness of the efforts of dedicated global advocates and community workers to eliminate preventable infectious diseases. The webisodes provide a fresh look at disease elimination, and we are grateful to the many partners without whose involvement these stories would not have been told. As we launch this series amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and at a time when health is at the forefront of the world’s attention, we hope that these stories will resonate with the global community and help accelerate progress towards disease elimination.”
More information about GLIDE webisodes
- Polio: The Endgame – the 10-minute webisode follows World Health Organization polio surveillance officer, Dr Ujala Nayyar, as she works with communities to help eliminate polio in Pakistan, one of the last two remaining countries where the disease is endemic. The webisode features Professor Rose Leke, Cameroonian malariologist and Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology at the University of Yaounde; Dr Julie Jacobson, Past-President at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Managing Partner, Bridges for Development; and Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, Director General of the Frontline Heroes Office of the UAE, and Board member of GLIDE.
- Onchocerciasis: The long haul – the 8-minute webisode looks at Cameroon’s efforts to eliminate river blindness. With many infectious tropical diseases, reaching the ‘last mile’ is often the hardest to achieve as tracking efforts and medication advice can be met with scepticism from some quarters of the population, halting elimination work. The webisode features Professor Joseph Kamgno, Director of Cameroon’s Center for Research on Filariasis and Other Tropical Diseases; and Dr Yao Sodahlon, Director of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP).
- Beyond borders in the Dominican Republic and Haiti – the 6-minute webisode provides an overview on the near-elimination of lymphatic filariasis in Hispaniola, and how cooperation and working across borders is key to eliminating the disease, along with malaria, on the island. The video follows the work of The Carter Center, which has been working with the ministries of health in the Dominican Republic and Haiti since 2008 to help accelerate elimination of these diseases. The webisode features Dr Manuel Tejada, Director of the CECOVEZ; and Dr Manual González, National Manager of the Dominican Republic’s Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program.
- Innovate to eliminate – the 7-minute webisode features interviews with scientists on the frontline of developing innovations to eliminate malaria and onchocerciasis, including the first-ever vaccine against a human parasitic disease, RTS,S, and the implementation of the LoaScope in Cameroon. The webisode features several experts including Professor Dyann F. Wirth, Co-Director of the Infectious Disease Initiative and Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and André Domche, Researcher, University of Yaoundé.
To watch the complete webisodes series, please visit this link.