Search - RX for Survival - A Global Health Challenge on DVD

RX for Survival - A Global Health Challenge
RX for Survival - A Global Health Challenge
Actors: Jacob Gaffney, Julia Joyce, Brad Pitt, Trevor White
Directors: Andrew Young, Gail Willumsen, Mike Beckham, Richard Dale, Sarah Holt
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     5hr 36min

At the dawn of the 21st century, the health of the world is at a critical crossroads. Malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases virtually eliminated from developed countries routinely claim millions of lives in developing ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jacob Gaffney, Julia Joyce, Brad Pitt, Trevor White
Directors: Andrew Young, Gail Willumsen, Mike Beckham, Richard Dale, Sarah Holt
Creators: Andrew Young, Gail Willumsen, Mike Beckham, Sarah Holt, Tabitha Jackson, Alexis Bloom, Gina Marsh, Jill Shinefield
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Wgbh / Pbs
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/28/2006
Original Release Date: 10/20/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 10/20/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 5hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

5 stars +++++++
B. Emory | Wilmington NC | 12/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"By coincidence, I was just talking to a friend about the magazine, Time's profile of extraordinary people taking on the global health crises, when this came on PBS. This was incredible. PBS is known for their award winning documentaries but this exceeded my expectations. Their coverage on epidemics covered older and newer crises from Influenza, Cholera to most recent Ebola, AIDS, and the Avian Flu while also touching on noncommunacable problems such as Vitamin deficiency, polluted drinking water, childhood obesity, and sanitation problems faced in emerging, overpopulated countries.
PBS also included people mentioned in Time magazine such as a the gentleman who recruited mothers and grandmothers to give Vitamin A capsules throughout Nepal, and the man who helped tap natural springs to provide safe drinking water in Africa (forgive me for not knowing their names). I was amazed that just simple ways could help prevent epidemics and how vulnerable we are to having a disease and spreading it.
Some highlights include re-enactments of how past epidemics began, how the source of the outbreak was discovered, and what scientists were influential in the control and prevention of the problem. These re-enactments showed how the flu that killed in the early 1900s were attributed to poor sanitation and living among animals which caused mutation of the virus to humans, and how cholera in late 1800 London could be linked to one drinking pump which had busted and was mixing in with a sewer line.
The documentary is also extraordinary because it touches on topics that you wouldnt think of as epidemics or global crises which includes heart disease and child obesity. I am a cardiac nurse and I know from experience that many people are being admitted for heart attacks in their early 40s and 50s with no family history. The documentary profiles children's obesity and shows how we went from a country (referring to the USA which ranks first in obesity) of underweight children in the 1900s to markedly obese currently. I was astonished by the correlations they drew to the conveniences we have with food, decreased need for childhood labor in the home (farm, etc), and just the lack of reasons to walk. One 12 year old shown had already tripled his risk for heart disease and was prediabetic.
This documentary was very long but throughout I was pealed to the set. I became more aware of the threat that Avian Bird Flu truly has and how there are similarities to the 1900 Influenza epidemic that literally killed people overnight. I also understood the scare when ebola was first reported through the re-enactment of nuns in Zaire screaming that everyone in the community and hospital was dead. I really appreciated the commentaries from people who had been there or scholars and scientists who researched the epidemics.
As you can tell this documentary was so important and it includes everything that you would need to know about global threats of past and present. I have already pre-ordered the set and encourage anyone (especially professers) who is interested in global health to order this too. Also at, you can read the article profiling the people who have made a difference in Global Health.
An interesting, intelligent exporation of public health issu
David Arndt | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 03/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lots of moving stories and thought provoking information. A well-written and worthwhile documentary set.

This DVD set is a great introduction to the challenges, opportunities and issues of the public health arena. Our highly individualistic culture sometimes blinds us to the concerns facing governments and non-governmental aid agencies. The questions they face are not simply, "how can I personally maintain my own health?" But rather, what can be done to promote the safety, healthy and prosperity of the whole community, of the whole country or the whole region.

In times of war, revolution or other conflict, people have a visible, tangible cause for which to unite. "United we stand, divided we fall" and other such statements are rallying cries in such times. But we may miss the fact that the increased rates of intercourse, commerce and travel in our global economy make disease outbreaks and public health challenges issues for everyone. This series makes clear that pathogenic microbes may pose as serious a threat as war and may face all of us at any time. To this end, united effort and vigilence are the responsibility of all, but also ultimately the defence of all.

Do yourself, and your neighbor, a favor by getting educated with this series.

msheit | Minnesota | 01/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This series was engaging, entertaining, informative and thought provoking. I can't wait to see it again."
Excellent- well put together, good information
Christina Co Education Center LLC | 03/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary is great--I was actually assigned to watch it when it was on TV a few years ago for an environmental science was easy to pay attention to, and was really well-put together. It is informative, and even has a few "flashbacks" where it re-enacts different things like Edward Jenner's discovery of an important vaccine, or it has some computer-generated graphics to demonstrate the differences between bacteria and viruses.

I wanted to purchase it back then, but it was really expensive since it just came out...I now finally bought it, because I am an esthetics instructor and plan to show several of the segments to my students.

There are several parts that would benefit our Nutrition chapter--the part about the clean drinking water, and another part about vitamin A deficiency and night blindness--and yet another part about the "epidemic" of obesity.

It will also obviously benefit our sanitation & diseases chapters since it does a good job of explaining viruses and bacteria, acquired immunity vs. natural immunity and gives several examples of ailments including Hepatitis and AIDS."