Pulitzer Center Update

Neil Brandvold Takes Over @PulitzerCenter Instagram with Project in DRC

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Olga, 30, with her 3 year old daughter Odile in Kahemba. Roughly a year ago Odile stopped moving her legs, Olga is not sure why she became paralyzed but had been feeding her a diet consisting largely of various forms of cassava. Image by Neil Brandvold. DRC, 2016.

Olga, 30, with her 3 year old daughter Odile in Kahemba. Roughly a year ago Odile stopped moving her legs, Olga is not sure why she became paralyzed but had been feeding her a diet consisting largely of various forms of cassava. Image by Neil Brandvold. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2016.

Check out the @PulitzerCenter Instagram account this week to see Neil Brandvold's work from Africa. His project, Konzo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, covers the paralytic disease konzo that has inflicted polio-like symptoms on thousands of the most impoverished people in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other African countries.

Eating insufficiently processed cassava, which naturally contains cyanide, can lead to irreversible paralysis of the legs. Konzo leaves its victims dependent on others for their livelihood and forces them to use makeshift crutches or crawl in the dirt.

Science journalist Amy Maxmen and photographer Neil Brandvold traveled to the DRC this summer to document konzo’s toll and what might be done to stem the disease.