Monday, November 30, 2009

(Guest Blog) Two Parrot takes on River Blindness Film Project in Cameroon, West Africa

Deep in the jungles of western Cameroon the Jimmy Carter Center treats one of the world's most insidious diseases. Two Parrot Production brothers John and Bill Kizorek made their way over hours of single-lane rutted roads, along with members of the Lions Club of Cameroon. They created a short documentary film (now on YouTube) on how the fly breeds, how it bites humans and lays eggs in their bodies. The bites release microfilaria into the bloodstream, some of which make their way to the eyes and cause blindness. Other side-effects are skin ulcers, intense itching, and nodules under the skin.
John Kizorek taping education program in remote Cameroon village

The film shows how an international drug donation program by Merck, using the drug Mectizan, is helping cure this disease. Along the way the Two Parrot videographers taped the flies biting humans and also showed what the Lions Club members are doing to educate the community to eradicate this disease from the country.

Bill Kizorek coming up from fly-infested river bank
Small boy examined for symptoms of river blindness.

According to Bill Kizorek, "this was a little on the scary side. At one point I asked where I could find some of these flies to film, and the guy standing next to me pulled up his pant leg and had SIX of the flies sucking blood from his calf! I was grateful to be wearing ExOfficio pants with Insect Shield to deter similar gnawing on my own skin." -by Bill Kizorek, senior partner,Two Parrot Productions

Why did we invite Bill Kizorek to do another blog entry for Charity Navigator? Because we helped match up Two Parrot with several of the charities who eventually benefited from their grants and many of our blog readers enjoyed their first guest posting.

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