In a tiny bed in the corner of a gloomy 15-square-meter room, a sick woman alternately coughs and moans. You can only see his back because his face is turned to the wall. An awning protects it from mosquitoes. When he sits up in bed, he shows his wrists bandaged to the fingertips, so that it does not appear as if he has them, but rather that his hand appears as if it were made of a stick.
This character from the play Négatif suffers from leprosy, one of the 20 neglected tropical diseases that affect more than 1.6 billion people in the world today. A figure that the Anesvad Foundation has been trying to bring out of obscurity for another year and who opened the tenth edition of the microtheater series Nazcas donde nazcas this Tuesday in Madrid. Right to Health to raise awareness of these ills and the importance of universal access to healthcare.
The exhibition, consisting of 12 works, aims to raise awareness among the viewer of the physical and psychological consequences suffered by the population of tropical areas, suffering from skin diseases such as Buruli ulcer, leprosy and yaws (which affects the face and deforms the legs). , mostly children) or lymphatic filariasis (a mosquito-borne parasitic disease known as elephant foot disease). Although these diseases are rarely fatal, they “envelop those who suffer from them in a spiral of poverty and poor health that prevents them from moving forward,” explained Paula Paunero, an educational social transformation technician at Anesvad, who has worked there for more than 50 years to ensure access to health care in poor countries.
In some areas of Africa, ignorance about tropical diseases leads to stigmatization of those who suffer from them. Paunera points out that “it is often believed that it is witchcraft or the evil eye.” To counteract this misinformation, Anesvad missions on this continent offer treatment to the sick, while the organization carries out educational campaigns among the population about the causes and consequences of these diseases. A task that is “much more difficult than making a diagnosis,” says Paunera.
The pieces last about 15 minutes and take place in small rooms three meters long and three meters wide. The audience is part of some scenes and the actors are within arm’s reach, creating an intimate atmosphere that promotes empathy and sensitivity to the subject.
One of the works in the micro-theater series “Nazcas donde nazcas”. Right to health’.ANESVAD
The series began on September 26th and will continue until October 8th at the Microteatro in Madrid. Tickets cost five euros – with a discount when purchasing packages for multiple performances – and can be purchased on the Microteatro website.
The works will continue their tour in Bilbao for the second year in a row as part of the Fair Saturday Festival from November 24th to 26th. Performances are also offered in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela.
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