Infectious diseases

16.10.2017

Today sees the start of the publicity and social awareness-raising campaign about infectious diseases in the run-up to the 26th telethon organised by La Marató de TV3 and Catalunya Radio, which will be broadcast on SUNDAY 17 DECEMBER.

The Deputy President of the Catalan Media Corporation (CMC) and of the Board of the Foundation, Núria Llorach, said that "La Marató is a credit to the public media of the CMC and is evidence of the transformational ability of society for the benefit of health".

"Infectious diseases are responsible for one out of every three deaths in the world. They are found here and they can affect all of us," explains Doctor Jordi Carratalà, Head of the Infectious Diseases Service at Bellvitge Hospital, who has presented data on the incidence and mortality of the group of diseases that La Marató will deal with. Among the most serious situations is sepsis, a generalised infection that causes ten deaths a day in Catalonia and has serious after-effects in those who survive. With regard to treatments, Carratalà explained that "resistance to antibiotics leads to complications in treatment, which the WHO describes as the most serious current health problem in the world." The situation could worsen to the point that in " 2050 there could be 10 million deaths a year from infections," a figure that would be higher than that of deaths from cancer. With this outlook, research on infectious diseases is a "worldwide priority " and must focus on three fields as Carratalà says: "creating more efficient preventive measures, developing rapid diagnostic tests and new antibiotics."

The director of the Fundació La Marató de TV3, Lluís Bernabé, presented the main points of the awareness-raising campaign that will precede the programme on 17 December and has pointed out that the goal of the Foundation and of the CMC is "to do La Marató with and for the people."

Bernabé explained that today is the start of the publicity talks in secondary schools, civic centres and libraries. There are expected to be around 5,300 of these, the same as last year when 225,000 youngsters were reached. During the sessions a video will be projected, which is also presented today, combining statements from people affected by an infectious disease with an explanation from an expert. All of this will be livened up by the musical theme that the Catalan trap band P.A.W.N. Gang has created specially to spread knowledge about the diseases being discussed. The actress Clara Moraleda, known in YouTube as Leopolda Olda, will also take part in the audiovisual.

Bernabé pointed out that this year there have been changes in the registration system for volunteers and that pre-registration will be open till 19 October. "Everyone who has put their name down will go into a lottery for the available places. This will open up chances of taking part and will be fairer." The Director of the Foundation mentioned the large social movement represented by the activities organised by associations throughout Catalonia; last year there were 3,500 with a million participants. He also said that for the first time this year La Marató will be present at the Festa dels Súpers on the weekend of 21 and 22 October: "Parents and children will be able to interact in an awareness-raising activity in the stand of the project."

The CMC's Marketing Manager, Martí Patxot, presented the graphic campaign for of La Marató 2017. With the slogan "Research can change history" this year's poster presents a new graphic design: "Disease has infected the logo of La Marató," Patxot explained. In fact, the logo of the project looks as if it has turned into a Petri dish, emphasising the idea that "La Marató promotes research and that it is research that has changed history and can change the future." This years' advert will be linked to this idea. It will be presented "during the first half of November".