This article is part of HuffPost’s Project Zero campaign, a yearlong series on neglected tropical diseases and efforts to fight them.
“Out of Sight” is a series of 360-degree films telling the stories of the victims and health workers battling neglected tropical diseases in some of the most remote and underdeveloped regions of Nigeria and Congo. The series explores both the challenges of and progress toward eliminating three of those diseases.
The series begins in Nigeria with lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis. This disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause the extreme swelling of body parts. Globally, a billion people live in areas that put them at risk of infection. Nigeria is one of the countries hardest hit by this disease.
The second film, shot in both Nigeria and Congo, focuses on river blindness. It was once widespread in tropical areas across the world, but efforts to control it have significantly reduced infection. However, the disease remains a major cause of preventable blindness in certain parts of the developing world, and nearly 300,000 people are blind from it.
The series ends with sleeping sickness, which was once a major cause of mortality in tropical Africa but now may be nearly eliminated, thanks to the intervention of health workers and national health programs. As many as 80 percent of the remaining cases are found in Congo, the location of this film.
This series is supported, in part, by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundation.
If you’d like to contribute a post to the series, send an email to ProjectZero@huffingtonpost.com. And follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ProjectZero.
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