Nutritional and Educational support for OVCs at Ube Primary School Ungwa Yanshi

Our weekly UK-Nigeria team meeting opened with the exciting news that Fantsuam Foundation VSO volunteer Teleri was about to be interviewed on BBC radio. It was a marvellous opportunity to spread the word, and we were later told that she had proved a great ambassador for FF and Dadamac - and had even persuaded the Radio Northampton interviewer to publish links to our website from the station’s own page!

Elsewhere, one of the week’s main Project updates came from Edi and concerned the children’s nutritional programme. Edi reported how FF, aided by student nurses from the local college of nursing, had taken a baseline assessment of the level of malnutrition of 30 of their orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s). It became apparent that five of them were severely malnourished, while seven showed moderate signs. All 30 youngsters are to visit FF for 4kg of food every week for the next three months. After that period, measurements of their forearms will be taken to determine whether their level of nutrition has improved. The previous week the UK were sent photos from Edi showing some of this food together with educational support being given to the most vulnerable children in the region.

To aid the fight against malnutrition, USAID has provided FF with 285 bags of fortified grain. Sadly, while the Foundation has more than 500 registered OVCs, we were told only 86 are regularly fed. As John Dada told us: “The USAID food is a one-off - not a sustainable approach.”

John also reminded the UK team that USAID has promised funds for a Rice Value Chain service in which FF will provide business development training for rice farmers. Hopefully, this should prove more sustainable.

E- learning at Fantsuam Academy: Kelechi, the Director of the Academy informed the UK team that his Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC) team have successfully migrated the Basic Computer Skills content to Dokeos E-learning platform. This is in line with the Academy’s efforts at providing all their courses online (E-learning).

Kelechi, in a previous email to the UK said that: “Our ultimate dream is to be a centre of innovation in E-learning. The continuous support of Dadamac has been key to achieving this milestone. “

The KRC Project is part of the 2010/2011 workplan activities of the Academy. The Team includes: Ladi (team leader), John I, Saidu, Micah and Keziah.

Other matters discussed:

Attachab: The team was also able to give an informal update on Jim’s progress at Attachab Apparently he is there every day digging holes (for fishponds we think) and is planting...(trees we believe)! I look forward to catching up with Jim at one of the team meetings to hear exactly what he has been doing but it sounds like he is really ‘getting stuck’ in as they say.

Sickle Cell:
John joined the meeting a few minutes late as he had just been chasing up supplies for the next week’s planned screenings. In addition,the UK and Nigeria teams have started to discuss together how best to set up a Sickle Cell Centre at Fantsuam, building on the success of its sickle cell clinic and sickle cell UN awareness day which was held in June.

Tuberculosis: I understand that there is a TB clinic at FF. Edi explained that TB is often a complication of Hiv/aids and that Edi meets other TB units at the periodic meetings in Kaduna. The UK had sourced some relevant research but it was 50 pages long and the bandwidth could not cope with this. How best to tackle the bandwidth issue is to be included on the agenda for discussion next week. However, John did suggest that perhaps the UK could share the research as a google doc but so far I have been unable to do so (not sure why?) - any suggestions welcomed! In the meantime, I have a draft email ready to send to the researchers!