‘SURVIVAL’, a new TV series on global health by BBC


The British Embassy hosted a panel session and reception to introduce BBC program ‘SURVIVAL’  focusing on global health.  This is a set of eight (8) one hour documentaries on eight major global health issues, which include malaria, maternal health, child survival, HIV/tuberculosis, sleeping sickness.  The program will be on air in October thru November.  It is planned to produce a 50 minutes program edited from the set of these 8 series, which will become open to public access (guide to downloading and embeding documentary series).  The objective is to raise the public awareness on global health.  This is a collaborative project with Imperial College, Rockhopper and BBC supported by the Gates Foundation.

The evening began with a welcome opening speech by Ambassador Warren followed by 10-15 min each of 4 films.  I participated the panel moderated by Ms. Doden of NHK, a well known TV caster, with 3 women, each representing corporate (Ms. Chino of Itochu), NGO (Ms. Aoki of SHARE) and university (Prof. Ohnishi of Nagasaki University), and two ‘senior’ men (Mr. Tadashi Yamamoto of JCIE and myself) as panelists, seemingly an unusual 4:2 gender balance in Japan.  I enjoyed the film show and the panel very much.
(See photos of the event)

In the reception, two remarkable young man and woman showed up and told their own stories on Africa.  Power of Bicycle!

A man is Kohei Yamada, worked in Mali, Africa, as a member of JICA; he wrote a song ‘Love You’ in a local language a message to his friend who died of AIDS, which became number one hit in the chart.  In the reception he sang this song in local language with an African percussionist.  He continues his work on HIV/AIDS and Africa.  Visit his web site.

A woman is Mio Yamazaki, told her story with her slides of bicycling sub-Saharan Africa; while in College, she bicycled 6,000km around Japan, another 5,000km Africa.  What’s a girl she is!  She published a book on her African bicycle tour, organized NGO ‘Cow-Way’ for ‘social change by cycling’.

The youth power!  That’s what we need much more in Japan for CHANGE!

The evening was full of enthusiasm with a recognition of and sense of engagement to global health.  Thank you all for joining the evening and for the Ambassador Warren and the British Embassy to host this event.