Lymphatic Filariasis - commonly known as Elephantiasis - blights the lives of 120 million people. The disease causes grotesque deformities. The drugs necessary to eradicate it are available - but doctors don't have the funds to distribute them.
Our medical correspondent, Fergus Walsh, went to Ghana to investigate the problem. He came back with images of the impact of the disease on the limbs of one patient and the genitals of another.
The first edit of his report contained a series of shots of a Ghanaian man's penis and deformed scrotum. We talked in great detail about whether it was necessary to show these images. Fergus said that one of the reasons that doctors have struggled to get funding to fight the disease is because there is so little publicity about it. He argued that with a warning, and after the watershed, the audience should be allowed to see its real impact.
I felt we could make the same point by showing fewer shots and setting it all in the context of a studio introduction that made clear to the view what they were about to see.
The issue became more complicated when we heard a complaint about a photograph of the same man which had been used to illustrate an article on the disease Fergus had written for an in-house magazine. The person who complained felt the man's genitals would not have been shown if he had been white. This raised the question of whether we were guilty of having double standards without realising it?
Would we have even filmed the shot if it had been a white male? Fergus and I are convinced we would have done - but decided we should move to a compromise position, in which the scrotum was shown, but the penis was blurred. The same information would be conveyed, with a smaller risk of offence.
We could have removed the shots altogether - but on balance, I believe that would have been the wrong decision. I am sure the audiences of the Ten O'Clock News and BBC World, which is also showing the piece, know from our track record that we do not ever seek to humiliate or shock.
Moreover, simply because an image is uncomfortable does not mean it should be ignored, particularly when one of the reasons this curable disease remains such a problem is because doctors can't get the publicity or funding to combat it.
Professor Johnny Gyapong who is in charge of the Lymphatic Filariasis treatment programme in Ghana made the following comment on hearing about our decision to transmit the piece including the image of the deformed scrotum: "Lymphatic Filariasis is largely a 'hidden and neglected disease', but with grave socio-economic effects. It is my view that the media has a role to inform, educate and communicate the appropriate messages relating to the disease, because the condition is manageable. Through this, we could advocate to all concerned for more resources to enhance the global elimination programme."
This was an extremely complex editorial decision, balancing the need to reveal the reality of a disease against fears that by doing so we were crossing a number of lines. Giving the matter a great deal of thought before broadcast, I believe the correct decision was reached.
You can watch the report by clicking here.