John writes from Nigeria:
Fantsuam Foundation has hosted over 50 international volunteers but there are two in recent memory whose continued commitment and friendship has been outstanding. Laurie Ellis and Dori Villa are two volunteers Fantsuam will not forget in a long, long time. It was Laurie that took Fantsuam through the organizational development process that led to the development of its 2009-2014 Strategic Plan and a robust internal structure. That structure was put to a severe test in the aftermath of the violent post election crisis in 2011. It is a testament to the relevance and cohesion of the internal structure of Fantsuam, that we have survived that political tsunami and subsequent cycles of unrest.
Still acting as Fantsuam ambassadors
Laurie and Dori have kept in close touch since their departure to the US in 2011, and in June 2013 they paid us a two-week visit. At this visit that they saw the new laboratory that Fantsuam had built as its own contribution to a research partnership with Michigan State University. The outbreak of violence in Kafanchan put paid to that budding partnership. On return to the US, Laurie and Dori carried on with their roles as Fantsuam’s ambassadors and made contacts with an organization, GO Campaign | www.gocampaign.org
Fantsuam rural laboratory
The Fantsuam rural laboratory will be undertaking a study of the Community Acquired Bacterium Syndrome among children in communities within 20km of the laboratory. At the moment these children are not getting the relevant laboratory diagnoses for their febrile conditions, so they are liable to misdiagnosis and inadequate treatment. In addition, Fantsuam Foundation has partnerships with two community health training colleges and will support their medical laboratory students with opportunities for the vital bench experience they need for their careers.
Nigerian national immunization program.
Once the study is completed, the information obtained will be a valuable advocacy tool for extension of the project. This study will also provide the baseline information needed before the implementation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in the Nigerian national immunization program. We currently provide monthly laboratory and clinical data to the Health Department of our local government where it is collated before transmission to the central health department in Abuja. The data from this study will therefore be provided to the relevant authorities and used to inform decisions on the national immunization program. By the end of the study, the Fantsuam Rural Health Centre will have reached a sufficient level of sustainability to enable it to continue to provide these diagnoses for children with febrile conditions, and also training opportunities for rural medical laboratory students
When GO CAMPAIGN wanted more information about the local leader who lives and works in the project community and is passionate about addressing this particular issue in the community, we sent them this url from Dadamac: http://www.dadamac.net/about/john