Rates of TB among Southern African gold miners are the highest in the world. In 2011, 11% of South African miners were infected with TB compared to an industry average of 5%. So rife is the disease in the mines, that mining activities are estimated to be responsible for around 760,000 new cases each year. That’s one in three of all new cases in the whole of Southern Africa.
These statistics are terrifying and they allude to an epidemic of such proportions that we can genuinely say it is driving the spread of TB around the globe. But that’s all they are; statistics, numbers. Out of context, they don’t mean anything. Number as high as this tells us nothing of the human suffering caused by TB/HIV.
That’s what Yale epidemiologist Jonathan Smith felt too, when he visited the mines of South Africa. Mere numbers and statistics simply don’t tell us anything about the devastation wreaked by disease. So, instead of carrying on his research and publishing an academic paper which may or may not make any difference in the lives of the miners, he decided instead to make a film about their families, treatment, pasts, hopes and futures; giving a human face to the epidemic.
The film he has produced is called ‘They Go To Die’ and follows the stories of miners sent home from the mines with no continuity of treatment and no resources to access care…..men who were sent home to die. This month we are asking you to arrange a screening of his ground breaking work in your community. Inside this email you’ll find everything you need to make that happen.
Materials included this month:
- Action sheet: ‘They Go To Die’; Bringing a hard hitting new documentary to the UK’
- Background sheet 1: ‘TB and mining and They Go To Die explained’
- Background sheet 2: ‘A Guide to holding a great film screening’
- Template invite for your MP
- Template press release
GROUP MEETINGS FOR TELEPHONE CONFERENCE: 8th January 2013. 8pm
Guest: Jonathan Smith, Epidemiologist at the University of Yale
This month there are groups meeting to join the conference call in: Central London, South London, Poole, the Stort Valley, Birmingham, Oxford, Macclesfield, Central Sheffield, South Sheffield, Leicester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich, Cambridge, Leamington Spa, Bath, Reading and Linlithgow. If you would like information on the location of your local group, please get in touch with us in the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If yo would like to join the conference call there are 3 numbers you can call – 0844 762 0762, 0203 398 1398 or 0800 22 90 900. You must then enter the participant code, which is 18723. If you would like advice about which number to call please contact us in the office.
We look forward to you joining us
Grassroots Campaign Coordinator