During the last week , Andrew has attended three days of meetings at the World Health Organisation in Geneva.
He was invited to meet with a number of Doctors and researchers within the organisation who have expressed concern about Nodding Syndrome and the effects this disease is having amongst children in our Kitgum district of Northern Uganda as well as Southern Sudan and other potential areas of Sub Saharan Africa which are affected.
One of the other people attending was Professor Bob Colebunders from the Tropical Disease Institute in Antwerp, Belgium. He is planning to undertake some extensive research into the condition and has a theory about the cause he wants to investigate.
Our Yotkom project is hoping to increase our capacity to deliver better health services to the communities affected by Nodding Syndrome in our area of influence. We will also be aiming to collaborate with the World Health Organisation and researchers like Dr Bob Colebunders to gather more information and data on Nodding Syndrome in the district of Kitgum , Uganda.
We have established some very helpful networks and relationships within the WHO and they have encouraged us to continue in our work and are keen to maintain co-operation with us into the future.
This is a wonderful opportunity.
In the next two weeks, Andrew will be in Uganda sharing the information from the meetings with our medical team and also meeting with other agencies and individuals seeking to provide care. We will visit some of the affected villages.
We hope to put together a recommended package of health care and services and seek out specific donors who have a heart to meet this need. I believe we have a great core team of health workers and strong foundations in place on the ground , giving us the capacity to grow and do more as we gain the necessary resources.
One of the major steps forward which has already been achieved from our meeting is the addition of Nodding Syndrome to the World Health Organisation web site , in the Neglected Tropical Disease section.
The NTD department will host this site and encourage the development of this as a repository of information , a data base of researchers and a source of guidelines on best management.
Yotkom may have some input into the content of this web site in coming months.
If you would like to see this go to this site :
World Health Organisation : Nodding Syndrome
Next steps: Andrew will be meeting Neil Shuker in Dubai tomorrow and then travelling together to Uganda.
More news will be coming from Africa !