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Africa, Sub-Saharan
Human Ecology
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Niger [electronic resource]: In the Shadow of Noma

Noma is an acute oral infection that attacks young, malnourished children. If left untreated-which, tragically, is often the case in Africa-it devours bone tissue and permanently disfigures its victims. This unflinching program studies the impact of the pitiless disease and will help viewers assess the ability and readiness of the international community to combat the suffering. Graphic scenes of school-age noma patients are interwoven with commentary from medical experts and heartbreaking accounts from family members who have watched as sons, daughters, and grandchildren succumb to the sickness. The film also describes low-cost interventions that could keep noma from spreading, if resources are made available.
2010; 2009

Mali [electronic resource]: Message From the River

As climate change lays waste to the Niger River, the great Malian city of Timbuktu increasingly resembles a desert landscape. The same is true for much of land-locked Mali, which could, in a worst-case scenario, find itself without water altogether. Incorporating discussions of poverty, population growth, and other issues, this film examines the impact of desertification on two of the nation's indigenous peoples - the fishing-dependent Bozo, who have plied their trade along the Niger for centuries, and the Tuareg, an equally nomadic, pastoral culture threatened by the depletion of desert wells. A Malian environmentalist and a Timbuktu historian both share their expertise.

Growing Up in Africa [electronic resource]: Helping Children in Benin, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda

Based on recent statistics, 90 percent of the world's orphans live in sub-Saharan Africa; 40 percent of African children work seven days a week; and many support themselves by prostitution or are subjected to enslavement. This program highlights the work of the Terre des Hommes Oasis Center, in Benin, which rescues, rehabilitates, and returns exploited children to their families; the Jinja School for Orphans, in Uganda; extended families on Kenya's Lamu Island, who educate and support the locale's many orphans; Barbara Petersen, who feeds and counsels street children in South Africa; and, also in South Africa, the Dance for All project, an initiative that brings dance to the poor areas of Cape Town.
2008; 2004