Meeting of ASODI Coordinators
The ASODI Coordinators from all of the villages served by ASODI came together on March 21st.
Click on the link below to read the meeting report.
ASODI’s president and founder, Jerome Akeneck was elected as the pioneer president for the newly created Cameroon Epilepsy Federation .The election took place on August 10 at the conference hall of the neurologic department of the central hospital in Yaoundé in which the numerous Associations working in the domain of people living with epilepsy converged.
Jerome’s duties will include advocacy for the Epileptic population with top government officials like Ministers, delegates and directors to talk on the plight of people living with epilepsy and the needy at large, proposing ways through which they can be helped, then coordinating meetings, making proposals and sensitizing along side the rest of the 9 executive members.
This is an excellent opportunity to closely align the work of ASODI with broader efforts to combat Epilepsy across Cameroon.
From Wednesday to Friday this week, the Honourable Minister of Social Affairs visited the North West Region. She came to the North West to Launch activities marking the day of the African Child.
This day was instituted by the Organisation of African Unity after the massacre of several children in Soweto South Africa during the apartheid regime.
This day was then made so that the African community could remember the rights/dignity of the African child just like those set aside by the United Nations.
Minister Catherine Mbakam Mbock then came in to the North West to launch the national events that will culminate with the Childrens' assembly in Yaounde on June 16th this year.
She equally granted audiences to leaders of Organisations operating in the Region amongst whom l was present.
We did discuss on ways through which we can partner and work for the good of ASODI's Orphans in the months ahead.
See me in the picture greeting the Minister attached.
In a similar story, I will be joining the Canadian High Commissioner to Cameroon Jean Paul Lavoie on the 1st of July this year in Yaoundé to celebrate the 140th Anniversary of his Country's Federation's day at his residence in Yaoundé. This was made known to me in an invitation on the 2nd of this month.
God bless us all,
As we reach the midway point of 2009, here is an update on ASODI’s expanding support for the orphaned and disabled population in the Ngie region:
The over 2,500 orphans we support are going on summer holidays in June 2009 and 350 of them will be sitting in for the Government common Entrance and First School leaving certificate exams between May and June this year. Those who succeed in this exam will join 57 of those who are in secondary school and some will be doing vocational training in Ngie and Bamenda under our sponsorship still.
Meanwhile, we shall be having some 500 Orphans who will be going into final year classes for 2009/2010 academic year. Therefore, 500 birth certificates will be established for them so as to enable them register for the examinations.
In addition, the 10 Orphans who are training in carpentry and hairdressing will soon graduate to join the 16 others who have completed their tailoring training and are pending establishment, and the cycle will continue.
The goat rearing exercise is moving on well. We have got some more six goats delivered to add the ones we bought the last few years.
Within the week, l met with with Rev .Tim who is establishing an Orphanage in Foncha street Bamenda. We are trying to see how we can work in synergy so that some of our Orphans can be housed, educated, trained vocationally at this centre her in Bamenda. All the Orphans that will be taken by this centre will come from the whole of Momo Division.
Following the meeting l had with the Sub director in the Ministry of Public health last month, he asked us to put in place an Association specifically for those with epilepsy so that he shall see how he will liaise us in to the National Control program on Epilepsy and as one of the policies of International Bureau for the treatment of Epilepsy as well.
Currently we are carrying out elections in all the villages, sub divisions and divisions of the North West Region. An association has been formed with a nine man executive to this effect. It is called Association for people living with Epilepsy abbreviated ASOPLEN. We shall be meeting the administration of North West for legalization next week and consequent submission to them (Ministry of public health and International Bureau for the fight against Epilepsy).
Similarly, we have put up a sketch plan for the construction of a multiple treatment centre for mental health, neurology and rehabilitation in the North West Region for the aforesaid groups of people.
To this effect, a total door to door survey is going on in the seven divisions that make up the North West Region so as to enable us know the number of epileptics that exist in the Region.
This will enable us to plan well as we shall submit the statistics to the above mentioned groups/Ministries. This is quiet tedious on our part as we move from one division to the other but it will be good for the welfare of our target group (epileptics).
The minister/his ministry will in future assist us in all the domains (not long from now) on the care and treatment of people living with Epilepsy.
There after, we shall see how we can extend to the entire Country of Cameroon.
Some of the disabled persons groups are waxing strongly as they are carrying out a lot of work in Craft/embroidery and petit business.
They are trying to make ends meet and the Government is granting them some National disability cards which will show their level of disability, granting them and their children free from paying school fees in Government owned institutions of learning and also trying to see how they can sensitize the communities in which they live to the fundamental rights they have to everything.
Epilepsy Research Results
We received unfortunate news this week from the Principal investigator for our Epilepsy Research project, Professor Carter Snead. We could only find 24 people from all over Ngie who are positive to neurocysticercosis that is tape worm gotten from pigs that causes epilepsy in them. We are however trying to figure out other risk factors that we can still carry out another study on them in Ngie. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Snead’s report:
“I am pleased to tell you that the CDC finally managed to assay 494 samples that Jerome successfully shipped from Cameroon to Atlanta. of these only 24 showed a positive serology for cysticercosis. On prelmininary examination of the data, these serologies appear to be equally and randomly distributed between controls and seizure patients. Therefore, we seem to have completely disproven our hypothesis that neurocysticercosis is the cause of the increased incidence of epilepsy in Northwest Cameroon. In a way, this is not too surprising to me since the seizures as described by Jerome sound to be much more severe than would be suggested by my experience with seizures associated with neurocysticercosis when I was in Los Angeles where we saw a lot in children from Mexico. However, I am uncertain where we can go from here in terms of alternative testable hypotheses of causation. I am open to any and all suggestions.”
Two Letters from Jerome
February 26, 2009
The coordinators meeting of ASODI has been slated for Saturday the 21st of March 2009 at the ASODI'S head office in Teze. The time is 10 am prompt.
In compliance with the International Bureau for the care of persons with disability, all coordinators have been asked to form support groups of persons leaving with Epilepsy with their executives.
A big thank you from the epilepsy patients who are on anti epilepsy drugs. It is wonderful to see most of them relieved of many bars of epilepsy when they are taking the drugs.
We have over 300 Orphans this year that are going to write the end of year exams. l made a tour on some of the Primary schools in which they are and they were happy to see me. Some lacked text books and l got them supplied. More on this in the statement of account to come. Please remember them in your prayers.
We started the week of Lent here yesterday. We went to church early in the morning and took the arch as a sign of from dust we came and unto dust we shall return. This arch came from the palms we stored from palm Sunday last year that were burnt.
This is another time of suffering, fasting, deep prayers and remembrance of what our lord went through here on earth. This will last for forty days.
May God bless you all,
l hope you are having a nice lent as we are preparing seriously for the passion, death and resurrection of our lord at Easter.
l spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon.
l went there with Parliamentarian of my Constituency to deliver letters of appeal and projects on how we could have some other funds from the U.S and the Japanese Embassies. We are still waiting for the responses.
Also, l had a meeting with the director in charge of epilepsy in the Ministry of public health trying to explain the difficulties we are encountering such as more patients with little means to procure drugs for them all the time and moer and more Orphans.
He asked me to come up with an executive made up of people living with epilepsy in the North West Region, get it legalized and then submit it to him as ASODI will continue to play the technical role. l will be doing this with the doctor who works with us in the domain in Momo division, Dr.Angwafor Samuel.
Meanwhile, all is set for our coordinators meeting in Teze this coming Saturday the 21st of March this year.
In other news, Pope Benedict the sixteenth will be leaving Rome to Cameroon as from this 17th of March to the 20th of March this year. He shall be in Yaoundé through out his three days visit to Cameroon as the rest of central African Countries will meet him here in Cameroon.
May God bless us all,
December Update from Jerome
Dear Supporters of ASODI:
Last weekend, some 250 Orphans of ASODI in Ngie, Widikum, Njikwa, Batibo and Mbengwi central subdivision under the National program for the care and support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) received didactic materials comprising of text and exercise books, bags, rice, groundnuts, cray fish, garri and school fees paid to them worth .5,850,000 francs CFA.
In a different story, a seminar to Educate the disabled persons in the North west Region of Cameroon on the UN Convention on the rights of the disabled persons took place in Njima for Catholic church Bamenda from the 4 and 5th of December this year. l gave talk on the Investigation of Epilepsy epidemic in Momo and the relationship between epilepsy and Disability.
We are still waiting on CDC at Atlanta Georgia USA to send to us the results of the Epilapsy Research we had in Ngie.
ASODI joined the rest of the of Disabled persons in the North west Region to celebrate the International Day of the Disabled on the 3rd of December 2008 in Bamenda and World Aids day celebration on December 1st 2008.
In Him we trust,
December 5, 2008
Read about all of ASODI’s activities in the 2008 Annual Report.
School Materials Distribution
Once again, ASODI has been able to provide school materials needed to ensure that local orphans can attend school. This year, we purchased 4500 exercise books for 2500 orphans and all were distributed in 4 subdivisions: Mbengwi, Njikwa, Widikum, and Ngie. Ngie subdivision had the highest amount of books/orphans.
Meanwhile, we are currently establishing more birth certificates for the orphans who shall write final year exams (Primary schools) this year. More than 100 other copies have been established already and more are still in the process.
In August 2008 the Ministry of Public health dispatched a team of medical doctors to come and see how ASODI and other associations dealing in Epilepsy are doing. We discussed ways of synergizing and concluded that we shall work in future. We went through the present names of Epilepsy patients in Momo and at the moment it stands at about 1341.(one thousand three hunded and forty one patients of epilepsy in Momo).
On October 3rd Jerome was admitted into the World Federation of Neuroscience Nursing. This means that the pleas of ASODI shall be echoed in Conferences/Seminars of the above (WFNN) all over the World.
Orphan Education and Training
ASODI has sponsored students at all levels of education, and provided practical vocational assistance to promote self-sufficiency. We are in constant need of funds to keep these programs going, and appreciate all of you that have supported our work.
· Primary and Secondary school orphans are doing very well. Some secondary students have moved from APC Teze to other schools in the area to get Technical Education and not Grammar again.
· The Orphans doing Tailoring are only waiting for their Machines and materials to start off their own Workshops (16 of them). We are in need of funds to take this next step.
· Those in carpentry, hair dressing (under C.R.S.) sponsorship are moving on well.
· In goat nearing amongst orphans, more goats have been delivered and I shall be moving to see all the goats in November with all the Coordinators so that we shall redistribute the young goats.(kids)
· November is fast approaching when the final year exams shall be registered and more birth certificates with school fees will be all needed.
The ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization asked the Ministry of Social Affairs to publish the names of organizations working well in Cameroon and ASODI is amongst them.
In this light, the Minister of Social Affairs sent a team of her Staff to the field to ascertain the published organizations. The team worked with me in ASODI‘s office from the 9th -14th of October 2008 going through all the files of ASODI in Teze, Ngie.
It was a good congratulation to ASODI.
We had sad news as well – over the last few months 4 epilepsy patients have died. ASODI provided for their burials. We also provided for 5 orphans that needed medical treatments.
On behalf of the orphans, disabled and Epilepsy patients of ASODI, we want to thank all of you again and again for your support!
Orphans sponsored by ASODI at the African Pioneer College (APC) in Teze.
Goat Rearing is one of ASODI’s projects to promote self-sufficiency.
Congratulations to Abaajeh Regla, Junior Parliamentarian
We are happy to report that a Junior Parliamentarian representing Momo Division amongst others from Ngie under ASODI is Abaajeh Regla from Teze. She is a disabled and was given this place under ASODI by the Minister of Social Affairs assigned by the Government n the selection exercise.
At the National Assembly were the Prime Minister and head of Government Ifraim Inoni, the ministers of public health, social affairs, Education and Communication to answer the questions of the children at the parliamentarian on the rights of the children in Cameroon. They were there for 8 days.
She is 17 years old. In the history of junior parliamentarians no child has ever left from Ngie and this year because of the recognition that the Government has for ASODI gave her one place to take part in the decisions of the lives of the children and disables in Cameroon. No other local Organization was given this place in the North west Province..
May God be praised!
Epilepsy Field Work Begins
Message from Jerome regarding the start of field work:
Greetings from the implementation team of the Research in Ngie. I am pleased to send to you some pictures of what we are going through. So far, we have visited some villages with a team of 5 interviewers, 2 lab technicians, 1 medical doctor and me. We equally have 8 motorcycle riders who plough the bad roads of Ngie from morning to evening, from one village to the other in search of patients and their guardians. Only God alone knows how He transports us from village to village on slippery, rainy, sunny, pot holes, just to name a few roads. We have gotten a handful of patient’s samples, and controls now. Although we face some problems, ranging from getting controls as relations, organizing the patients on the days we are supposed to visit, adjusting and readjusting the day which is suitable for the various villages and of course moving and coordinating the activities between the concerned on a day-to-day basis. It is so far interesting to note that the turnout is becoming to be increased though it started timidly. We pray God to lead us safely in the entire study.
We are grateful to have a team of dynamic implementers and of course good collaboration from the coordinators and the entire population of Ngie, including the religious authorities and their administration. I shall give you details of everything at the end of the study.
May God bless us all.
Epilepsy Field Work
Next Steps for Epilepsy Research; Progress in Training
We had a two day planning meeting in Yaoundé on February 8th and 9th for the Epilepsy research project. In attendance were Professors Njamnshihi (neurologist) and Takoungang (parasitologist) from the Yaoundé School of Medicine Cameroon. Our goal is to put in place a plan for the implementation phase of the project, which will commence on the 7th of March with a visit to the filed by all of us mentioned here. There after we shall build a field plan of action and all will go on.
We have informed the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health of our research plans, and received a positive response. Click here to read their letter.
On a similar note we facilitated a two day seminar on Epilepsy on the 9th and 10th of February with another medical team from Norway and Australia. These are nurses who represent SPIRE INTERNATIONAL an NGO we hope to partner with. l met them and talked to them about ASODI and its work and they agreed to come and see.
Meanwhile, our first batch of seven Tailoring trainees (Orphans) shall graduate at Andek, Ngie in May this Year. We need to open individual workshops for them and give them some capital to begin with and they will in turn take on 4 orphans each to train free of charge. What a joy to God most high. He is great.
Letter from the Minister of Public Health