Message from Mike Ellis on AMAP update  - January 2017

Hello Folks,

Happy New Year to you all and to your families and friends!

We all hope that you enjoyed a nice break at Christmas and that you are now refreshed to embark on the challenges that face us all this year!

 

Thank you all most sincerely for your ongoing financial support which has allowed us to have a balance of £3,599 in the account.

 

As you all know we AMAP have been sending supplies of licensed anti-epileptic products out to Mali and to Ghana and once to Kenya for years now and the brief report below with photos of the patients in both their clinic and outside with Alick Mwamba demonstrates that the products are being well used and are helping to keep many patients free of the trauma that epilepsy can cause to patients.

 

This is a substantial sum and I have today written to Alick to ask if we can send products for different diseases notably TB and HIV out to him.

 

TB is a particular problem as due to poor patient compliance with drug therapy which involves a patient taking a combination of three powerful antibiotics several times every day for a period of six months. Failure to comply with this treatment regimen can result in the infection becoming drug-resistant at which point death is guaranteed quite swiftly.

 

Drug resistant TB is already emerging as an even more serious problem both in Africa and in the West due to the increasing numbers of individuals migrating from west Africa to Europe. The disease is so readily transmitted by sputum from one individual to another simply by talking to an infected person who is already unknowingly infected!

 

The other area is HIV which as you all know has left legions of orphans already in many countries in Africa. The challenge is that some “cultures” will not accept orphaned children into families as they are considered possessed! I have research the current prevalence of HIV in Mali and you will see a link to the most recent UN figures that I could find today. The incidence in 2915 was 1.5% of the population and with education and practical support I feel sure this can be contained.

 

I hope that you agree that this makes practical sense to help these people in Mali and if Alick comes back with other ideas we will deal with them as swiftly as possible. We have a wonderful relationship with a big UK pharmaceutical wholesaler who supplies these licensed medical products to us at a cheaper price than they supply the NHS. A little example of how negotiating skills can help us all!

 

I look forward to meeting some of you again later this year.

 

Kind regards,

Mike

 

Here is a copy of the note I have sent to Alick Mwamba:

Dear Alick,

Thank you so much for this report  and for the beautiful photos that you sent showing a group of patients and yourself among them!

The photos made me smile as none of the patients seem to smiling they all looked very serious that day!

 

Our colleagues in AMAP are all well and I speak to some of them quite regularly, they would want me to send you and your parishioners their very best wishes for 2017 and thank you for sending your kind wishes to us.

 

As you will not require any more anti-epileptic products for some months now, I wonder if you could speak to the Dr and ask if there are any other pharmaceutical products that we could send them to help with some of the more dangerous and infectious diseases that are quite prevalent in parts of Africa?

 

I am thinking of TB (tuberculosis) which in its pulmonary (lung) form, can ravage a family and a community very swiftly as it is transmitted via the air that people breathe out. The other major problem with it is that patients must take three antibiotics several times each day for six months. Any failure to comply with taking the medication by the patients every day can result in treatment failure and this is now proved to be the reason why drug resistant TB is increasing quite rapidly – this is always fatal as no antibiotics have been developed to deal with this challenge.

 

Another area is HIV infection. Here is a link below to the United Nations website which relates to Mali and as you can see there is an increasing need for some sensible action to be taken by all responsible people to help contain this dreadful problem which leaves many thousands of children with no parents, often no support and frequently no opportunity to get a good education. I hope this will help you and we will be very happy to send products out to you and the Dr to help these patients too!

 

http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/countries/mali

 

Please let me know which products will help you and your Drs to help keep your parishioners well and safe!

 

Mike Ellis

Report about the anti-epileptic drugs sent since 2012 to this WF in Mali.