Zimbabwe: Musicians Sing About Neglected Tropical Diseases

Gloria Muruva — In a bid to raise awareness of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), some musicians have collaborated on a song that was being played to mark Neglected Tropical Diseases Day last week.

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day was celebrated internationally on all social media platforms on the 30th of January under the theme “Unite, Act and eliminate” and it was officiated by Dr Thoko Elphick Pooley, the international head of uniting to combat NTDs.

Musician Dereck Mpofu collaborated with Etienne Kasereka and launched a theme song called “Unite, Act, Eliminate” in English, French, and Swahili languages, which was produced by Mono Mukundu.

The song went viral on social media with a dance challenge done by a couple of people including the Gates Foundation team, World Health Organisation regional director Dr Moeti, and Dr Pooley.

In an interview with The Herald Arts, Mpofu said he did the song with other artistes as a way of raising awareness of the diseases.

“My job was to curate a song around the theme: “Unite, Act, Eliminate, so we curated and produced the song together with Mono Mukundu and collaborated with Etienne Kasereka from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The song is in English, French, and Swahili,” he said.

“This song is part of an awareness drive to bring communities and world leaders behind the drive to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases as a major goal. The initiative is being driven by Unite to Combat NTDs a global advocacy organisation that exists to end neglected tropical diseases by mobilising resources.”

Mpofu said his motivation to take part in the project came from the love of doing good with his music and changing the world for the better and this has been the common denominator on health, environmental, conflict resolution, and global issues.

He added that more organisations had approached him for similar services.

NTDs are a diverse group of 20 conditions that are mainly prevalent in tropical zones, which affect more than one billion people who live in impoverished communities.

They are caused by a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins.

These diseases include bilharzia, roundworms, hookworms, and elephantiasis. Other NTDs that are specified in the country include rabies, anthrax, snake bites, leprosy, sleeping sickness, and scabies.

Last year, the World NTD Day was celebrated under the theme “Act now. Act together. Invest in neglected tropical diseases.”


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