From Chicks to diabetes all in an hour!

John started this week’s UK-Nigeria meeting with the news that the new Divisional Police officer had just visited Fantsuam Foundation.

John pointed out that it is: “Unusual for a senior police officer to leave the tarred highways and come on our kind of road to see us, anyone who wants to come to FF, will be brought there by the first motor cycle taxi he asks. He is new in town, only two weeks old and has come to express appreciation for what he's heard of FF and our services. He felt he needed to come in person rather than send his subordinates, to express his appreciation and that he will be writing officially to his headquarters on what he has seen - such unexpected compliment is good news and inspiring”

However, John also shared the more alarming news from FF that the rains have been rather heavy in the past week. John hopes to send photos of flooded homes and bridges later.
He personally lost four of the five chicks from his prized hen.
John went on to say that they have acquired two sheep and two goats, bringing the herd to eight.
The goats and three turkeys are kept in the fish farm. Pam shared with us that when visiting Nigeria she was amazed to discover Nigerian goats only seemed to be kept for meat - not milk.
John confirmed that the milking of goats is hardly practiced in Nigeria. This is something that he wishes to explore at Attachab Farm and will form part of the long term Attachab integrated agric project.

Also with reference to Attachab John said he had sent a message to the fisheries department in Zaria University asking how we can get those breeds of mosquito fish. This was in response to an earlier email from Graham Knight who had shared with us the concept of Aquaponics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics A few years ago I had blogged about staff from Fantsuam accompanying Marcus Simmons an a fact finding trip to Songhai, an exceptional example of permaculture. One of the many initiatives demonstrated there was the practice of using fish to eat mosquito larvae.
Since the visit John has found someone who trained at Songhai, now living in Abuja, to be their consultant. He comes to Attachab once a month or when asked. He also trains Markus ( Farm Manager) and the Attachab team
John informed us that : “We will be reactivating a couple of earth ponds after the rains and he'll show us how to hatch our own fingerlings”
The money to pay this consultant is still part of the fund provided by the French Embassy,

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Sickle Cell /Zipak lab was on hold until Michigan University received the reassurance from the Government that they would deliver what had originally been agreed. In typical John fashion rather than wait for the above to be resolved ( which we believe will happen but don’t know when) John is seeing if it is feasible to start basic laboratory support for diabetes and hypertenstion at the Zipak Laboratory
John informed us diabetes and hypertension cases are on the increases among their elderly population. He is exploring the idea of free blood sugar screening.
John has a new volunteer starting next week and one of her briefs will be devise a strategy for the diabetes lab: what is feasible within available resources eg counselling, bringing the occasional expert to talk to patients, and referral even though the hospitals are ill-equipped.

John was also able to tell us that he plan to visit Linus family in Jos this weekend. Linus is the local Nigerian engineer who Dadamac helped enabled to connect with Comic Relief and Ron Dennis of Devtech. Linus is currently in London working alongside City University students to design a waste plastic recycling process with the end product being tiles. It is hoped that this will then be trialled in the field by Fantsuam providing much needed income for local people as well as addressing the local waste plastic problem