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Non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes account for 70% of all deaths. But many of these diseases can be prevented and the suffering from their effects, reduced.
The World Heart Federation has partnered with BBC Storyworks and NCD Alliance on the creation of two impactful stories about people living with heart disease, the doctors and nurses who help them and those who are inspired to make a difference. The series, Turning the Tide, portrays noncommunicable diseases as an epidemic which kills 41 million people each year, the equivalent of 71% of all deaths globally.
Centred on individual stories and issues, the aim is to connect with audiences, raise awareness and inspire action from governments, funders and everyone concerned with global health and personal wellbeing.
The WHF-produced mini-films focus on two heart emergencies – Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) and Hypertension – in two African countries – Mozambique and Kenya. They are stories of hope but also of the need to do more and do it fast.
RHD has a huge cost to society in poorer regions as it affects mainly young people. The scope and magnitude of the problem have prompted action and the adoption of WHO’s Global Resolution on Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in 2018. Yet, we estimate that RHD still fails to attract the attention and funding needed to change the tide and positively impact the lives of 33 million people. In this mini documentary we follow the daily struggles of Rosa Vasco, a young mother from Mozambique, who lives with RHD. We also hear from Karen Sliwa, WHF’s President and Ana Mocumbi, Leader of the National Institute of Health, Mozambique, who present us with the stark reality of RHD and the lack of treatment for what is an entirely preventable and neglected disease.
Hypertension has become a silent killer in many countries in Africa. In Kenya alone, 75% of people with high blood pressure do not know they have it. This documentary uncovers the challenges of living with a condition that has no warning signs and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We hear from a doctor, a government official and a nurse and their efforts to train others and improve the detection rate and treatment of hypertension in rural communities. We also follow the journey of Joseph Jamenya, who lost his father to heart disease and is now an ambassador for simple life changes.
This series of short documentaries, launched on 11 February at the Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, UAE, aims to give voice to the global burden of NCDs, examining the much-needed work of institutions and communities across the globe which seek to make prevention and control a priority. The series contains 26 short films depicting the impact of the NCD epidemic across the globe that amongst others includes a focus on diabetes in Mexico, mental health in South Africa, stroke in Romania, hypertension in Myanmar and psoriasis in the Philippines.
NCDs – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes – are the most common cause of death and disability worldwide, accounting for 70% of all deaths and more than 3 out of 4 years lived with a disability. Yet much of the suffering caused by these diseases is preventable.
We encourage you to share the series and join the conversation using the hashtags #TurningTheTide #NCDs.
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