Weekly update from Fantsuam

This week’s online meeting saw us pick up the threads of several topics we had discussed in previous weeks. Among the matters we examined were:

Sickle Cell Disease: As previously mentioned, the screening programme for Sickle Cell amaong children under 6 years has halted temporarily. But it must have reached or at least be very close to the 6,000 target set by John Dada for his team. Fantsuam Foundation was recently visited by American Embassy staff and John reported that they seemed very impressed with the work. He is now waiting to hear if they are going to help support the much-needed expansion of the Sickle Cell Clinic. We will keep you abreast of developments.

Attachab: The key local members of the Attachab team have now been identified. The hope is that these people will continue the work of the VSO volunteer who is in situ until February 2011. In the ideal world, funding for these positions will be found. An attempt will be made to secure these funds, but much help will be needed to help us achieve this goal.

Beekeeping: As many will recall, Jen Miller has generously volunteered her time and skills to be the Dadamac Beekeeping Ambassador. John promised her that he would contact Idris, their trusted Nigerian Beekeeping expert, who would give us a breakdown of the costs for training and the equipment needed to set up Beekeeping as a small to medium Enterprise at Attachab. This John duly did and Jen will be actioning this matter over the coming days and weeks.

The Rice Value Chain: Fantsuam Foundation and VSO volunteers are working with the micro-finance field officers to provide the business skills training for when funds are released.
An update was received regarding FF’s new server. This process has not been hassle-free, but the good news is that it now seems to be working. The incentive to try to sort the problem rather than return it to the USA was very high. It was reported that it has already proved a logistics nightmare, requiring the diversion of hardware to the UK as the Nigerian ports were under an embargo. Furthermore, the hardware weighed 67 kg and the shipping cost quoted was £560! The full customs horror story will hopefully follow at a later date . . .

Fantsuam Foundation’s Aids/HIV Programme: Information concerning this vital programme was discussed and is to be expanded on in a future blog.