Despite major advances, epidemics and pandemics continue to devastate human health and lives in the 21st century. Malnutrition, bacteria and viruses are the causes of the lethal diseases that the Grandes Tueuses (Big Killers) series tracks across the globe. The multimedia approach and portraits of patients, healthcare professionals and scientists make the series as entertaining as it is informative. Created for distribution via the web, the films are designed to raise public awareness and educate teams working in the field.
The major French organizations dedicated to fighting infectious diseases, Médecins sans Frontières, Inserm, Institut Pasteur, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and Fondation Mérieux, joined forces to produce the series. Specialists in disseminating scientific knowledge, Universcience, which brings together the French science museums Palais de la découverte and Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, and Réseau Canopé, which develops teaching material, are also participating in the initiative. The series received funding from the Future Investments program of the French Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research.
Two ancient pandemics, cholera and Chagas disease, and the very contemporary issue of antimicrobial resistance are just three of the 14 pathologies covered, which also include: Ebola, hepatitis C, respiratory infections, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, malnutrition, meningitis, malaria, measles, AIDS and tuberculosis.
Each disease is explored in five short segments, covering its geographical context, history, development in the body and transmission, diagnosis and treatment, and the prospects for research.
The partners have agreed to waive all rights for the series, which is available for downloading free of charge from a video platform and the internet sites and social media of the different partners.
In addition, the webdocumentary Grandes Tueuses, presented on the French website Allo Docteurs, provides an interactive multimedia discovery of seven of the diseases : antimicrobial resistance, Ebola, hepatitis C, malaria, measles, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.
The films are currently available in French and English versions are pending.