ISNTD Festival brings together the creative arts and global health communities to explore the issues, challenges, opportunities and solutions that are needed to transform research into actual change, and aims to open the black box between informative research and policy, including the issues around community cohesion, disease awareness, behavioural insight, behavioural intervention, stigma allievation, programme development, mental health, education, advocacy, fundraising and many, many more.

Please get in touch to discuss speaking slots, panel and workshops aswell as any submissions  for the showcase - please contact Kaman Rafiq [email protected] or Marianne Comparet [email protected]

Key topics:

• Creative strategies for patient engagement and patient centricity


• Communication challenges & global health


• From Science to People: Projects, Tools & Production Strategies


• Creativity, science & public health messaging


• Workshops (gaming, theatre, virtual reality, animation... )


• Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead




DAY 1: March 11th 2019 


8.45 // Welcome coffee


9.15 // Introduction by the ISNTD


9.30 // Session 1 - Highlights of communication challenges for tropical and global health 


• Roy Head (Development Media International)

A scientific approach to health communications: does it work?


• Sara Dada (Vaccine Confidence Project / London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Communication strategies and challenges around the Ebola vaccine trials


• Alex Dower (Acting for Health)

Unlocking barriers to public health: a theatre-based framework for patient engagement and disease control  


• David Wilding (Twitter)

Twitter in scientific research and advocacy




10.45 // Coffee break



11.10 // Session 2 - Creative examples to tackle health challenges in tropical diseases


• Elsa Leger (Royal Veterinary College)

Engaging the youth in the fight against schistosomiasis


• Mary Ann Comunale (Drexel University)

Tropical Disease Education Through Game Play: Malaria Invasion


• Catherine Wheller (Natural History Museum London / Deworm3)

Focus Groups in communication strategies



•Wyn Baptiste (MTV Staying Alive Foundation)

MTV Shuga: a case-study in how to use media to impact behaviour



13.00 // Lunch



14.00 // Public Engagement Session


[Henry Wellcome Lecture Theatre & Williams Lounge]


• Introduction to tropical diseases & main issues


• Screening of short films, photos and creative materials


• Panel Discussion:

- Lauren Sullivan (The Francis Crick Institute): sleeping sickness diagnostics & patient engagement

- Catherine Wheller (Natural History Museum London): helminth infections

- Suzanne Duce (Dundee University): simplifying drug discovery for a broad audience

- Mary Ann Comunale (Drexel University): tropical disease education through game play

- Alex Dower (Acting for Health): the use of theatre skills in sharing complex scientific messages


• Premiere of MTV Shuga series and Q&A with cast members

- Wyn Baptiste (MTV Staying Alive Foundation): MTV Shuga and mass media for HIV awareness


• Interactive exhibition in Williams Lounge



16.00 // Coffee break


16.30 // Summary & panel discussion

• Ben Deighton (SciDev.Net)

• Sophie Goggins (National Science Museums Scotland)



DAY 2: March 12th 2019 


9.00 // Welcome coffee


9.30 // Media tools and strategies in global health research


Steve Maud (Cloud 9 Media) - Media & NTD  Communications: Rewriting Africa’s story


Amy Atwood (Takeda) - The Dengue Reality: Shining the Spotlight on a Global Health Threat


Suzanne Duce (University of Dundee) - Searching for a new medicine to treat neglected tropical diseases- Kirsty’s Project


Shabina Sadiq (The Leprosy Mission England & Wales) – Leprosy advocacy through TV and film



10.45 // Coffee break



11.45 // Session 2 - Media and creative strategies - disease focus 


Amy Atwood (Takeda) - Dengue


Robin van Wijk & Anne Schoenmakers (Leprastichtung / Netherlands Leprosy Relief)

PEP4LEP: Chemoprophylaxis through skin camps or health centres in sub-Saharan Africa


Kate Wills (Malaria No More)

Malaria No More’s campaign: David Beckham, AI and a voice petition


Leah La Framboise (DNDi)

A doctor’s dream: A pill for sleeping sickness



12.20 // Lunch



13.20 // From pipeline to patients: overcoming barriers


Sam Martin (Vaccine Confidence Project)  

YouTube discourse analysis comparing the pro/anti vax comments in tones, key influencers, etc.


Rachel Cole-Wilkin (The Loo Lady)

Taboos & the art of reclaiming awkward conversations


Kamran Rafiq (International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases)

Why we need a World Dengue Day


•Jonas Stockfleth (FilmYard)

Virtual reality in Malawi: tropical diseases, larger than life




14.30 // Workshops


Workshop A: Social media - Jonas Stockfleth (FilmYard)


Workshop B: Photography Ethics - Savannah Dodd (Photography Ethics Centre)


Workshop C: Gaming - Mary Ann Comunale (Drexel University)

"Designing Educational Games for Infectious Disease: Let's play"


Workshop D: OneHealth - Building a Movement



15.20 // Workshops


Workshop E: Communication Strategy - Catherine Wheller (Deworm3 / Natural History Museum)


Workshop F: Theatre skills - Alex Dower (Acting for Health)

A theatre based tool for tropical health programmes


Workshop G: Gaming - Lauren Carruthers (University of Glasgow)

Poop Pondering Game


Workshop H: SkinApp - Netherlands Leprosy Relief & InfoNTD

SkinApp: an app to recognise the early signs and symptoms of skin diseases



16.10 // Coffee Break



16.30 // Panel discussion - Arts, science and partnerships: the road ahead


Gill Shaw (Gill Shaw Photography)

Catherine Wheller (Natural History Museum)

Jaya Banerji (Medicines for Malaria Venture)



Download programme as a PDF