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Spaceship Earth is a Registered Charity, Number: 1164631


Help us achieve our first goal!

Yaws Eradication Documentary

A documentary has been produced about Yaws with Dr Oriol Mitjà as the focus.

Dr Oriol Mitjàis a Catalan researcher and consultant physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases with expertise in poverty-related tropical diseases. He has conducted research at the Lihir Medical Centre in Papua New Guinea since 2010 on new diagnostic and therapeutic tools to eradicate yaws.

The previous yaws eradication campaign was launched in 1952 with estimated cases totalled 50 million worldwide. Twelve years later, prevalence had plunged by 95%. Governments and funding agencies soon lost interest and infection rates began climbing back up in the 1970s. The present World Health Organization eradication strategy for yaws is mass treatment with single-dose oral azithromycin, followed by resurveys to find residual cases. Dr Mitjà has demonstrated that the new strategy is effective in eliminating yaws from endemic countries and if implemented everywhere could result in yaws eradication, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The documentary covers his work in Lihir and the discovery that Azithromycin can be used as an antibiotic to treat Yaws.

Unfortunately, this documentary is not currently available publicly. Help us by donating to our goal of £5,000 to purchase the rights to the documentary and place it on YouTube for free viewing. Raising awareness about what Yaws is and how it can be eradicated is an important part of achieving eradication.

What are ownership rights?

Ownership rights: who has a right to the ownership of intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the ownership of an idea or design by the person who came up with it. It is a term used in property law. It gives a person certain exclusive rights to a distinct type of creative design, meaning that nobody else can copy or reuse that creation without the owner's permission. It can be applied to musical, literary and artistic works, discoveries and inventions.

The owners of the documentary deserve to be compensated for the work they have done to produce the documentary. Buy paying for the right to show the documentary for free, it means they will no longer be able to sell the rights to broadcasters.


Have you heard of Yaws?

The answer is most likely no. Yaws is a neglected tropical disease. It has a massive public awareness issue, mostly because in developed countries, people don’t get the disease.

Why do you need to buy the rights to the documentary?

We need to buy the rights so that we can show it for free on YouTube to raise awareness about this disease and the more people are aware of this disease, then the more likely funding will be made available for eradicating it.

​Where can I view the documentary?

Currently, the documentary is held by the production company that made it. You cannot view the documentary until we have purchased the rights to share it for free. If you want you can sign up below to receive an email when the documentary is available to watch on this website.

Who currently owns the rights to the documentary?

The documentary was produced by Broadcaster in coproduction with Televisió de Catalunya, and coproduction with tve. In collaboration with Obra Social "la Caixa" and Generalitat de Catalunya Departament de Cultura.

When will this documentary be released?

It depends entirely on your help. The sooner we reach our goal the faster we can raise the money to buy the rights.

How can we help?

Help us raise £5,000 to buy the rights to the documentary that has been created on Yaws, and the work Dr Oriol Mitjà has done to discover that Azithromycin, an antibiotic can be used to treat children with Yaws. We want to upload the documentary to YouTube so that everyone can watch it for free.