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South Africans direct new Al Jazeera series

The new Al Jazeera documentary series, Lifelines: The Quest for Global Health, is filmed by an award-winning South African team in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. (video)
South African Clifford Bestall, a Grierson, Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker is the series director. He directed four of the episodes, while fellow South African Brian Tilley, a producer on the multi-award-winning documentary series Why Democracy? and Why Poverty?, directed the other half.

The series, which highlights the African and Asian health professionals saving their communities, premieres on 10 April 2014. The ground-breaking eight-part series is filmed up close, as these health heroes forge dramatic breakthroughs while tackling nine of the worst diseases and conditions that afflict poor people: Guinea worm, leprosy, malaria, maternal and neonatal mortality, polio, rabies, river blindness, schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia or snail fever) and trachoma.

Local solutions

"The station is always looks for local solutions, especially in the face of so much grim news," says executive producer Ingrid Falck. "Lifelines is exactly that. It gives powerful voice to communities that are rarely heard and shows that even in the face of the most horrendous diseases and conditions imaginable, there are African and Asian health workers at the centre of a global fight to eliminate them."

"The long struggle to control, eliminate or eradicate some of these deadly diseases and conditions is tantalizingly close to victory," adds Bestall.

For more, go to, go to the Facebook page, follow @AJlifelines and use #healthheroes on Twitter to be part of the discussion.