UnMasked: We all Breathe

UnMasked: We all Breathe

Ikana Health Action Lab is proud to announce that UnMasked: We All Breathe premiered on @Channel104 in South Africa. This inspiring documentary tells the story of three young South African doctors who contract multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB).

Watch at https://vimeo.com/315337117

This film follows Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba, Dr. Arlette Bekker and Dr. Dalene Von Delft as they turn this harrowing experience into a positive, by informing others about the world's number 1 infectious killer. They bravely share their stories because they want to change perceptions and ultimately to save lives. UnMasked: We All Breathe takes the mask off, removing the stigma and debunking the stereotypes in order to unveil the truth about TB: we all breathe, so we are all vulnerable to TB.

This film is because we are all vulnerable, we are all the demographic.

UnMasked: we all breathe will continue on Catch up and Catch up Plus on Dstv and will be rescheduled on various channels over the next year on Dstv.

Unmasked is a documentary that candidly explores the experience of this illness in three young South African doctors whose daily lives were turned upside-down with the devastating diagnosis. These brave, resilient women clawed their way up from the depths of despair creating new lives for themselves and helping others in the process. Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba, Dr. Arlette Bekker and Dr. Dalene Von Delft have molded this harrowing experience into a widespread and global movement to end TB, the world's number 1 infectious killer. They bravely share their stories because they want to change perceptions and ultimately to save lives.

While most cases of TB in South Africa are susceptible to a standard antibiotic treatment and can be cured within a matter of months, the three doctors in this film contracted multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). This is an evolved form of the disease that doesn't respond to the same classes of antibiotics and must be treated for much longer with a more grueling and aggressive drug regimen. The dark truth is that doctors and healthcare workers in South Africa are six times more likely to contract TB than the public at large. In this moving film, the three central characters open their homes and lives to advocate for better treatment and diagnostics care for all TB patients.

Their voices join that of South Africa's Health Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, who has been instrumental in the fight to get the world to take the threat of TB seriously.

Now, as survivors and activists, Zolelwa and Dalene channel their energy into taking off the mask, removing the stigma, and debunking stereotypes to unveil the truth about TB. Zolelwa was alone in her fight through illness and now wants to use her voice to ensure others they are heard, while Arlette is simply happy to be back in the operating theater.

This documentary is a reminder that TB doesn't discriminate based on class, race or social standing. In Zolelwa's words, "We are all the demographic, because we all breathe."

Ashleigh Hamilton
ashham@mweb.co.za
0823380557

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