Appeal to help Fr. Zacharie Sorgho in Mali

obtain supplies of drugs

for a group of his parishioners

who suffer from Epilepsy and NOMA.

l-r; Fr Zacharie Sorgho MAfr; The postmaster in Fr. Zacharie? village with the boxes of drugs November 2012

Fr. Zacharie Sorgho M.Afr. is a White Father from Burkina Faso now working in Mali. He is a Pelican by virtue of spending a year studying in Margate! He has asked for help with providing drugs for some of his parishioners with epilepsy and Noma. Conventional western products are very difficult to obtain in Mali, where there is no insurance or NHS, and are often very expensive, out of reach for most local people in Mali.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition which can affect both men and women. Sometimes its onset may be without any warning.

There are two main types: partial seizures refer to brief (10-14 second) absence attacks which are not nearly as debilitating as generalised seizures. Partial seizures invariably start in childhood and consist of a brief cessation of activity associated with a blank staring look and occasional nodding of the head, fluttering of the eyelids or small convulsive movements of the limbs. Objects may be dropped but the person does not collapse. Partial seizures sometimes continue into adolescence and adult life. About 50% of children with partial seizures will later develop generalised seizures.

In generalised seizures there is an abrupt loss of consciousness often with sustained contractions affecting all muscles including those used for breathing. There can then be a period of repeated violent jerking movements of the body and limbs which can last for several minutes. At the end of the seizure consciousness slowly returns and irrational behaviour may take place of which the patient has no memory. Many may have a few seconds warning of a seizure and can then sit or lie down. Others get no warning and collapse with convulsions and a loss of consciousness. This can be very alarming for individuals around them.

The Appeal Summary

1.    Some communities in West Africa see these poor people as possessed by evil spirits and they are feared, despised and ostracised by their families and associates. The sufferers may put themselves in danger of falling into open fires or drowning and in many cases become increasingly impoverished because they cannot work.

2.    The symptoms described above can all be effectively controlled with well-known and inexpensive drugs. The local physicians in Fr. Zacharie? parish of Norio in Mali have been using carbamazepine and phenytoin. We have now proved that these products can be effectively shipped to him. On 22nd October 2012, we acquired and arranged shipping for a pilot supply of both drugs and we are delighted to advise you all that these reached Fr. Zacharie on 8th November (see photo at top of this document). In other words, they took about three weeks to arrive.

3.    Further supplies can be obtained but I (Mike) cannot fund them all myself and we would be most grateful if The Pelicans, can support this appeal to allow a relatively continuous supply of the above drugs to be sent to Fr. Zacharie for his patients.

4.    A summary of what these drugs will cost: 100 packs of carbamazepine 200 mg will cost approximately $620, 50 packs of phenytoin $245.50. This is the minimum order that we would have to place to get these prices. The ? to $ conversion today is ?1= $1.59. This is about half the price that the NHS has to pay for these products. It is very much less than Fr. Zacharie has been paying locally. The total sum is approximately ?550 per consignment of this size, plus packaging and postage.

5.    The other condition which Fr. Zacharie refers to in his initial appeal is an oral fungal condition called NOMA. It has not been seen in Europe since the early 19th century (with the exception of concentration camp inmates during the 2nd world war). It is known as The Ulcer of Extreme Poverty and with decent nourishment and clean water supplies it need not break out. It is a progressive and horribly disfiguring disease which can be treated with two old and inexpensive drugs namely penicillin and metronidazole. We can obtain these drugs too and we would like to suggest that we use the funds we receive through donations to help with this condition too.

6.    We would be most grateful if you would consider helping to provide ongoing supplies of these drugs to Fr. Zacharie as it will help demonstrate that we as Christians are not simply about using words to preach the gospel of care and compassion ?actions speak much louder than words!

7.    From a financial perspective we have set up a community bank account under the name Africa Medical Aid Project (AMAP) into which donations and funds can be placed. We will not be charged for operating this account. The two signatories to the account are Mike Ellis and John Joyce ?both members of the Pelicans and who live close to Guildford in Surrey.

8.    The bank account details are as follows: HSBC Bank 12A North Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4AF, Sort Code 40-22-26, Account number 92859467, Account name Africa Medical Aid Project.

9.    In order to maintain continuity of supply of these and other possible products for the treatment of diseases like TB and Malaria, the best means of doing this is for you to send a donation to the account above or, even better, to set up a standing order with your bank for a sum to be sent to the account each month. This will enable John and me to ensure that funds are always available when needed.

10.          We will be most grateful if you and your friends can help us to get AMAP underway as soon as possible. If you would like any further information please don? hesitate to contact us directly.


Mike Ellis Tel 01483 271314             e-mail:

John Joyce Tel 01483 282893 e-mail:

Return to Top

An update from P?re Zacharie SORGHO, M.Afr dated 18th January 2013, written in French, with an English translation below.

P?re Zacharie SORGHO, M.Afr
Paroisse Notre Dame de Fatima

Le 18.01.13
B.P 8 Nioro du Sahel - MALI
Tel? +223 77 41 04 50

Bonsoir ? vous

Je vous ?cris cette page pour vous donner de mes nouvelles et celles de notre pays de Mission, le Mali qui est en guerre depuis plus d?ne semaine. Tout d?bord je vous remercie de vos pri?res, de vos soutiens fraternels et amicaux dont j?ppr?cie beaucoup et qui constituent pour moi une grande marque d?miti? et de communion en ce que nous vivons ici.

Depuis longtemps, les groupes rebelles du Nord Mali imposaient leurs lois et faisaient r?gner la terreur parmi les populations du Nord? amputation de main, coups de fouet, raquettage, violences sexuelles pour les femmes et jeunes filles, etc.?. La mis?re ?tait grande et les medias en parlaient chaque jour mais rien ne se faisait au niveau national comme international. Les groupes rebelles et islamiques se croyaient alors d?j? des vainqueurs et maitres de tout le pays. Ils veulent vraiment faire r?gner leurs lois et appliquer la charia dans tout le pays.

Il y avait de plus en plus des pourparlers afin de voir comment l?nion Africaine et la CEDEAO pourraient intervenir pour soutenir l?rm?e malienne ? reconqu?rir les 2/3 de son territoire occupe par les djahadistes islamistes. Puis les int?r?ts ?go?stes, les querelles ethniques et les jalousies des uns des autres li?es ? la boulimie du pouvoir constituaient un frein ? cela. Pendant ce temps nos barbus eux, avan?aient et comme de bons voleurs ? la foire, fomentaient leurs mauvais coups.

Surprise? Un beau matin, prise d?ssaut et attaque conqu?te de la ville de Konan, pas tr?s loin de Bamako et d?utres villes du sud. Cela avait cr?e une psychose g?n?rale dans la ville et les habitants ?taient tous d?boussol?s. CՎtait la fuite et les cris de d?sespoir. Puis la France a d?cid? d?ntervenir enfin?!! Ah Merci ? la France et ? toutes les personnes qui ont contribue ? la prise rapide de d?cision d?ntervenir le plus vite sinon ca commen?ait ? paniquer partout.

Konan apr?s d?ntenses combats et surtout l?ide de la France a ?t? reprise des mains des djihadistes musulmans. Mais ils ont ensuite attaqu? la localit? de Diabaly et l?nt prise. Ils utilisaient les gens comme bouclier humains. Ils rentraient dans les familles et se m?laient ? la population effray?e et terr?e chez eux. Ils r?cup?raient les portables des gens afin de les emp?cher d?ntrer en communication avec les gens de l?xt?rieur ou avec leurs proches.

Puis ils se collaient aux gens, emp?chant ainsi l?rm?e fran?aise et malienne de mener des frappes cibl?es. Mais hier apr?s d?ntenses combats corps ? corps, la ville de Diabaly a ?t? reprise par les forces arm?es fran?aises et malienne. Les gens sont dans l?uphorie. Tous remercient la France de son aide et de sa pr?sence. Cela a surement du prix ? payer et d?j? nous le constatons mais cela ne devrait pas faire baisser les bras. Ah la victoire est au bout du fil. L?ide fran?aise ? l?rm?e malienne et ? celle de la CEDEAO + UA doit ?tre ponctuelle et ensuite c?st ? nous d?ssurer le reste.

Pendant ce temps que se passe t-il dans ma paroisse ? Nioro du Sahel situ?e au Nord-ouest? Nous accueillons des d?plac?s de la guerre. Il y en avait d?j? beaucoup qui avaient fui depuis les attaques de Gao, Tombouctou et Kidal et qui avaient trouv? refuge dans notre zone situ?e ? la fronti?re de la Mauritanie et du S?n?gal. Certaines familles h?tes les avaient accueillis et aid?s jusque l?. Mais avec les frappes a?riennes et les multiples interventions des arm?es, nous voyons beaucoup de personnes arriver davantage chez nous. Ils fuient tous la guerre du Nord, avec leurs enfants et leurs parents. Il faut dire que beaucoup nous arrivent sans rien, sinon avec un baluchon avec quelques effets personnels. Ce sont des maures, des autochtones, des maliens surtout. Il faut fuir les frappes et surtout les bombardements et les djihadistes rebelles.
C?st ma premi?re fois de voir autant des d?plac?s de guerre. Ils ont fui la guerre et ils ont tout laisse ou perdu de leurs biens. Le seul grand bien qui leur reste est leur VIE SAUVE?!! Tous rendent gr?ce ? Dieu pour cela. Mais mat?riellement, ils sont pauvres. Par exemple, il leur faut des jerrycans pour mettre de l?au potable pour boire et avec lequel aller chercher de l?au. Il leur faut au moins une casserole (marmite) avec laquelle ils pourront faire la cuisine et chauffer de l?au. Il leur faut une natte pour se coucher, un gobelet pour boire, de la nourriture pour manger, et une b?che pour s?briter. Vous voyez que ce sont des besoins essentiels, primaires mais sans lesquels ces personnes ne pourront pas vivre un peu dignement. Ou trouver tout cela? Il faut acheter et les marchands ne font pas de la charit? du tout. En temps ce temps de guerre, les prix ont augment? pour nous confirmer que le malheur des uns fait le bonheur des autres.
Moi j?i opt? dՐtre avec eux. Je ne pars nulle part. Je ne fuis pas comme le mercenaire pour laisser le troupeau. Je suis humain et tout ce qui est humain et qui les touche me touche aussi. C?st ma vocation, d?pporter et de t?moigner cet Amour de Dieu ? tous surtout en ces moments difficiles dont ils traversent. Nous ne faisons pas de distinction de religion ou d?thnie. Tous sont accueillis. ?Ce que vous avez fait au plus petit d?ntre les miens, c?st a moi que vous l?vez fait? nous dit le Christ. Pour le moment nos confr?res europ?ens sont appel?s ? soit quitter le pays ou soit ? se rassembler ? Bamako ? la capitale o? la s?curit? est plus accentu?e. Les europ?ens doivent ?viter de circuler seuls ou d?ffectuer de longs voyages hors de la ville seuls. Nous sommes tous appel?s ? la vigilance en tout?
Je me porte bien et je compte sur vos pri?res. Bient?t la lib?ration du pays se fera par la gr?ce de Dieu et par vos pri?res et la paix reviendra de nouveau. En attendant je vous confie tout le pays et chaque fils et fille du pays dans vos pri?res.
Que Dieu vous b?nisse? Merci pour tous vos multiples soutiens et pour votre collaboration ? notre mission.

Nous sommes ici ? cause de vous aussi, de vos pri?res et de votre grande solidarit?.
Avec mes amiti?s, P?re Zacharie SORGHO
Cur? de la paroisse de Nioro du Sahel au Mali
Father Zechariah SORGHUM, M.Afr
Parish our Lady of Fatima

B.P 8 Nioro du Sahel - MALI
Tel: +223 77 41 04 50 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting + 223 77 41 04 50 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Good evening to you

I am writing this page to give you my news and our country's Mission, Mali which has been at war for more than a week. First thank you for your prayers, your support fraternal and friendly which I appreciate a lot and are for me a great brand of friendship and communion in what we live here. For a long time, rebel groups of Mali North imposed their laws and were terror among the peoples of the North: amputation of hand, whip, raquettage, sexual violence for women and young girls, etc... Misery was great and the media spoke every day, but nothing was done at the national level as international. Then, rebel and Islamic groups is already believed winners and masters from all over the country. They really want to rule their laws and apply Sharia throughout the country.

There were more in addition to the talks to see how the African Union and ECOWAS could intervene to support the Malian army to regain the 2/3 of its territory occupied by Islamist djahadistes. Then selfish interests, ethnic feuds and jealousies of each of the other related power bulimia constituted an obstacle to this. During this time our bearded them, progressed and as of good thieves at the fair, fomented their bad shots.

Surprise! One morning, taken by assault and attack conquest of the town of Konan, not far from Bamako and other cities of the South. It creates a general psychosis in the city and the inhabitants were all confused. It was the leak and the cries of despair. Then France decided to intervene finally! Ah thanks to the France and to all those who have contribute to the quick decision to intervene more quickly otherwise ca began to panic everywhere.

Konan after heavy fighting and especially the help of the France was taken from the hands of the Muslim jihadists. But they then attacked the town of Diabaly and taken it. They used human people as a shield. They returned to families and mingled with the population scared and ensconced at home. They recover the portable people to prevent them from communicating with people from the outside or with their loved ones. Then they stuck to the people, thus preventing the French and Malian army conduct targeted strikes. But yesterday after heavy fighting hand-to-hand, the town of Diabaly was taken over by the French and Malian armed forces. People are in the euphoria. All wish to thank France for its assistance and its presence. This was surely the price to be paid and already we are seeing but that shouldn't bring down the arms. Ah victory is at the end of the wire. French aid to the Malian army and that of the ECOWAS + UA must be point and then it is up to us to provide the rest.

During this time what happens - it in my parish in Nioro du Sahel in the North-West? We welcome the war displaced. There were already many who fled from the attacks of Gao, Timbuktu, and Kidal and who had found refuge in our area on the border of Mauritania and Senegal. Some host families had welcomed them and helped them up there. But with air strikes and the interventions of the armed forces, we see many people more come to us. They all fled the Northern War, with their children and their parents. It must be said that many arrive with nothing, if not with a backpack with a few personal effects. The Moors are Aboriginal, a Malian especially. Flee the strikes and especially the bombing and rebel jihadists.

This is my first time to see so many war-displaced. They have fled the war and they have all left or lost their property. The only good that their remains is life saver! All render thanks to God for this. But physically, they are poor. For example, need them with Jerry cans to clean water for drinking and with whom fetching water. Need them at least a pot (pot) with which they will be able to cook and heat water. Need them a mat to sleep, a Cup to drink, food to eat, and a tarp for shelter. You see that these are basic needs, primary but without which these people can not live in a little dignity. Or find it all? To buy and merchants do not love at all. During this time of war, the price increased to confirm that the misfortune of some makes the happiness of others.

Me I opted to be with them. I go nowhere. I do avoid as the mercenary to leave the flock. I am human and everything which is human and that the key touches me also. It is my vocation, to make and to testify that God's love to all especially in these difficult times that they go through. We do not distinguish by religion or ethnicity. All are welcomed. " What you have done to the least of mine, it's me that you did ' says Christ. At the moment our European colleagues are called to either leave the country or to gather in Bamako in the capital where security is more accentuated. Europeans should not travel alone or make long trips out of town only. We are all called to be vigilant in all!

I am doing well and I count on your prayers. Soon the liberation of the country will be by the grace of God and by your prayers and peace will return again. In the meantime I entrust you throughout the country and every son and daughter of the country in your prayers.

May God bless you! Thank you for all your multiple support and your cooperation to our mission. We are here to cause you too, your prayers and your great solidarity.

With my love,
Father Zechariah SORGHUM
Parish priest of the parish of Nioro du Sahel in Mali

Return to Top