Something in the Water – the success story of our website campaign
Something in the water (http://sitw.eliminateschisto.org/int/) is not your typical awareness campaign. Its trailer takes you on a thriller-like journey, showing how a beautiful lake setting and enjoyable time with friends in the water can quickly be turned into a nasty experience. The dark music underlines this even further by adding a rather eerie feeling to the trailer.
And this is exactly what makes this campaign so catchy, so different and so effective. It draws the viewer in, keeps him or her engaged. Under different circumstances viewers might quickly move on to other, seemingly more interesting or relatable topics, but not in this case. The video and design of the website ensure the viewers stay on, allowing them to learn about schistosomiasis and to realise this is nothing that can easily be ignored by simply clicking it away. In a world in which we are constantly bombarded with moving images, loud messages and endless information, it is difficult to raise awareness of a disease that seems to affect so few so far away. But Something in the water ensures that the message about schistosomiasis is spread further and reaches not only a greater number of people but also a greater variety of people.
We are very grateful to the team who created this campaign (https://www.fischerappelt.de/blog/something-in-the-water/) and are proud to be able to say that Something in the Water won six awards in 2016 and is part of the advertisement for the ISNTD Festival on the 23rd of February in London (http://isntdfestival.com/home/4593212572).
The following awards were won by this great campaign:
Hopefully the success of this campaign, competing against some big consumer / brand marketing teams, will spark more such activities amongst the NTD community to ensure that the people suffering from any NTD will be heard and will be helped.
The Research Working Group of the GSA convened for two days to agree how to apply operational research to enhance efforts to eliminate schistosomiasis
On 14 June 2016, leading experts in the control and elimination of schistosomiasis from around the world gathered in Shanghai to advance the World Health Organization’s goal of worldwide elimination of the disease. Organised by the Global Schistosomiasis Alliance (GSA), the two-day meeting brought together health specialists to discuss such topics as new drugs, mapping the transmission of the disease and alternative control strategies.
Schistosomiasis, a water-borne parasitic disease, is one of the most devastating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in terms of public health burden and economic impact, causing an estimated 200,000 deaths per year. However, the solutions to control and ultimately eliminate it are known, inexpensive, and within reach. Treatment is very effective and Merck, a founding partner of the GSA, has committed to donate up to 250 million tablets of Praziquantel annually to WHO, to treat the disease.
“We are excited about the strides we were able to make during this conference. The lessons we can learn from our co-hosts, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, given the team’s experience of eliminating schistosomiasis in China, will critically inform our collective next steps.” said Dr Lorenzo Savioli, chair of the Executive Group of the GSA.
Professor Xiao-Nong Zhou, National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, added “We were delighted to host the GSA here in China and share our insights. We are particularly interested to see how our strategies and control interventions can be directly applied to endemic countries in Africa, for example, where it is estimated that 90% of schistosomiasis sufferers live.”
A high-level summary of the conference presenting the status quo, current gaps in the field as well as a call to action can be found in the "Downloadable Resources" section on this website.
Further, the presentations and resulting actions of the conference will be published in a post-congress Volume of the BMC Journal Infectious Diseases of Poverty – edited by Professor Ziao-Nong Zhou.
 World Health Organization