Tuesday, December 6, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem, Cameroon Link
A two-day workshop for civil society organizations (CSO) and Journalists on health and use of data ended in Douala on the 3rd December 2011 at Hotel la Falaise. It was organized by the centre for the Development of best practices in health (CDBPS-H) based at the Yaoundé Central Hospital with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Key speakers during the workshop were Dr. Jean Serge Ndongo, who leads the team, Robert Marie Mba, a sociologist who concentrated on how to make well informed decisions from basic facts, Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw, who coached the participants on usage of internet links for collection of researched information and Dr. Habiba who shared her experiences during a field investigation for collection of information and health data.
The training started with the introduction of what taking well informed public health decision is about, how to carry out a search of viable sources information on the internet and judge its quality and when the information data is collected, how to make us of it.
The 24 participants drawn from media houses and civil society organizations from the littoral and south west regions were coached during a practical exercise on how to identify and analyze health problems. After the analysis of a problem, the quantified information can then be considered for use in taking a well informed decision that would not be contested.
Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw talked about assessing the quality of evidence through explanatory notes covering evaluation, and tools that can be used for evidence assessment. Participants were guided in a practical session of evidence assessment with a case. It was observed that media publications on health did not adequately discuss cost effectiveness of patient treatment nor quantified benefit of a new drug.
The published articles hardly evaluate the quality of the evidence, though many tools exist to treat quality evidence in medical research. The understanding of the workshop content is going to help determine how much confidence to place in the medical results made public almost on daily basis.
It was observed that some journalists have often confused association with causality. In other words, association is explained as two things going together, while causality in one thing causing the other. A good example is that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and promiscuity is associated with HIV infection. It should be understood that a promoted new product does not always mean the best product. It is simply an effect of consumerism and new products should be marketed ardently.
To publish health articles, journalists are advised to use data bases that have some measure of quality control and that have high quality evidence; The Cochrane library has been quoted as a good place for collection of evidence, because published works are well researched.
Health specialists should be contacted when a journalist is not sure of the quality of evidence and a check list should be used to ensure quality. Biomedical viable information sources are: www.who.int/en/, www.unicef.org/, www.unfpa.org , www.phmovement.org, www.cdss.dros-minisante;cameroun.org, www.statistics-cameroon.org, www.cdbph.org, www.consumers.cochrane.org/
Monday, November 28, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem
CEO, Cameroon Link
WABA Men’s Working Group Coordinator
Why involve men in breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is an important part of reproduction and health that biologically involves mothers and children. However, breastfeeding also concerns fathers as their attitudes towards breastfeeding strongly influence the mothers own point of view.
Fathers are generally an important source of support in a mother´s decision to breastfeed and in its implementation. There is also a positive connection between the degree of father support and the total duration of breastfeeding. A father´s involvement in the breastfeeding situation strengthens his relationship to both the child and partner, and helps him to develop his parental role in general. Highlighting the father’s role in more general terms such as parenting can broaden the argument for supporting breastfeeding.
Advantages of an active father role in parenting
Acclaimed researchers describe several advantages when both parents are active and engaged in taking care of children, compared to only one active parent. A few examples:
• Children’s psychological development and social skills are favoured in the communication with two committed parents.
• Fathers develop their empathic ability, considering that women are more trained at this.
• A more equal division of responsibilities increases the possibilities for both parents to fill many roles within the family complex, which tend to make them more satisfied with their lives.
• Cultures where fathers are more committed to childcare seem to produce less hostility and violence between men and women, compared to other cultures.
The role of the father is a gender issue
Gender that is considered to be masculinity versus femininity is a system of continually evolving social practices, which defines roles, assigns resources, and establishes power relations. According to this definition, gender roles are dynamic, constructed through social interaction, reinforced and reproduced by social institutions.
Gender researchers claim that as long as women are assumed to be more responsible than men for childcare, women´s role as mothers will continue to be a major obstacle to their achieving economic and social equality with men. Therefore, father’s involvement in childcare, including breastfeeding, is clearly a gender issue.
Gender equity and equality work towards a society where women and men have equal opportunities, rights and obligations in all aspects of life. From a gender perspective, how paid work and care giving are combined reflects assumptions and norms in the gendered situations of family and work.
Learning about gender issues – for all men
A father’s relation to breastfeeding relates to his and the environments perception of what his role should be. Traditionally, caring for children is not an important part of the concept of masculinity, as it is in the concept of femininity. This issue must be discussed and our ideas about masculinity must be challenged.
Just like the mothers, fathers need knowledge and incentives to be supportive. Attitudes concerning breastfeeding are influenced from all kinds of sources surrounding the family - relatives, friends, practitioners, legislators - and these attitudes can be linked to values of lifestyle and stereotype gender roles. In this perspective breastfeeding should be a concern, not only for fathers, but for all men.
Enabling men to be more supportive
Many men need to be better prepared to assume a role as breastfeeding supporters. Studies have shown that breastfeeding education and promotion programs have effects on knowledge, attitudes and support for breastfeeding. Evidence suggests that even simple and inexpensive interventions can increase the level of breastfeeding knowledge of men.
In his supportive role it is also important that the father understands what it means for a woman, both physically and psychologically, to go through pregnancy, delivery and start breastfeeding. A well informed father knows the importance of being patient and sensitive as the mother recovers from the birth experience and gains confidence in breastfeeding. By importing the same knowledge and sharing the breastfeeding moments, the father is helping the new mother to gain breastfeeding skills. He can also protect her from misinformation about breastfeeding in the community, or even well-meant advice from friends and relatives. Sharing the care and responsibility of the new life will strengthen the parental relationship in this difficult period of transition and adjustment.
Today most preparatory courses for parents are organized by the maternity health care. The education is generally of a practical nature and focusing on medical factors of pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. This important forum should also involve issues of social and individual change, and create space for especially fathers to reflect on their situation and role. By focusing on and activating fathers, their role strengthens and they get a wider knowledge, more adjusted to their life situation and thus more useful to them.
There are, of course, many different ways to construct a support group for parents, where they get information and can discuss parenthood. The right way to do it depends on the interests and needs of the people you are aiming at. For instance, a group of men work differently a few months before delivery compared to some months after the child is born.
It is generally easier to reach fathers before delivery than after, which is the time when most decisions on infant feeding are made. The most crucial step is how you invite them to participate: what kind of information about the group is shared, who it is that deliver this information and through which channel. In reaching fathers, it might be better if the "speaker" is a man that the forum addresses complimentary issues that you would expect the target group to be interested in like economics of breastfeeding. This will help to avoid pictures and expressions that might come through as feminine in any printed material, etc
Fathers need support to be supportive. During the period of pregnancy, the expectant mother attends counseling sessions at the clinic, but her partner is not counseled. A father that views himself to be subordinate as parent and does his part mostly out of expectation and duty is not likely to give support of a higher quality. It is important for the mother to trust her partner and to show that trust by inviting him to jointly take care of the little child. The father can also be motivated by understanding the advantages of him spending time with the baby, for example that it is likely to benefit the well-being of the whole family.
In becoming a parent, mothers are generally more in touch with examining this new step in life compared to fathers. The supportive role of the father is depending on the values of people around him. Often it is not expected of a father to engage himself in the care of the newborn baby.
A mother may need time and space for relaxation, especially when the child is anxious or ill. Those periods it is an advantage if the father and child have developed a contact that allows the mother to be alone for awhile, to rest and regain strength without having to worry about the other two. This procedure of course requires that the mother is willing to give this confidence and that the father wants to take it. Breastfeeding can sometimes inhibit fathers from developing close relationships to their children and also have a negative effect on the parent relationship. This is a concern that has to be dealt with. Fathers may feel excluded, jealous and resentful to the detriment of breastfeeding success and the adult couple relationship. Helping fathers to find other ways and situations where they can develop a close relationship with their child will be important.
Fathers sometimes feel neglected and made disassociated by relatives, friends and even the maternity services. Fathers can feel themselves as”parent number two” or, even worse, not to be reckoned with as child-care givers at all. Maternity services should develop methods that signal to fathers that they are important and offer them special information on papers or arranging special father groups or meetings.
Delivering right messages
Information can, if delivered in a right way, influence fathers and change their views and behaviour. Engaging with family professionals can impact positively on fathers’ negative behaviour and parenting styles; increase their knowledge and understanding of child development; increase their confidence in their parenting skills; and lead to more sensitive and positive parenting and to greater involvement in infant and child care, and in interaction with children.
In countries where it is accepted that fathers are present during delivery, fathers should be encouraged to do so as his presence during delivery seems to have positive effects on the well-being of both the mother and the baby. Having the father nearby during the first hours after labor seems to make it easier for mothers to successfully initiate breastfeeding and also seems to positively influence the duration of breastfeeding. This needs to be encouraged.
Father´s attitudes towards breastfeeding
Some fathers harbor misconceptions and negative attitudes toward breastfeeding. To overcome obstacles, issues of breastfeeding need to be discussed with both parents, during childbirth preparation classes and prenatal visits. Professionals must make sure that this information reaches the fathers.
The two most common ideas about reasons for the negative attitudes of fathers is concern that their partner's breasts may be exposed to others and that the breasts may change and get less attractive. Actually there is not much knowledge about why some fathers are negative about breastfeeding. If we knew more about this, better measures could be taken.
As described above, a mother's perception of her partner's attitudes toward breastfeeding influences her choice of infant feeding method. However, she is often wrong about this. Scientific research has shown that fathers may have more favorable attitudes toward breastfeeding than their partners think.
Postpartum depression is a common affliction which severely can lower mothers’ incentive to breastfeed and in other ways cause difficulties to babies’ health. If rightly informed, fathers can be made watchers over the psychological health of their partner, as they are likely to know them rather well and notice if there is some serious trouble arising, and if necessary act so help can be requested through contact with the local maternity service or others.
Young fathers can be seen as a special risk group. Young fathers have a harder time identifying themselves as fathers and, surprisingly enough, professionals tend to neglect them. Also, concerning young couples, the quality of the relationship between the couple themselves seem to be the most important factor for high father involvement the months after birth. This is another argument for involving the importance of the parental relationship in the information offered by the maternity health care and other professionals
Actions for behavior change communication
•Breastfeeding education should be provided to all adult family members, including the father.
•Parenting interventions should always include fathers.
•Give professionals training and methods to reach and educate parents in a way that promotes breastfeeding. Methods may need to be developed to meet the requirements of today’s parents. Among other things a modern and thoroughly accomplished preparatory course would give parents tools for creating a family situation aiming at communication, support and satisfaction, which is favorable to everyone concerned, including the child.
•The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends six months of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding plus partial breastfeeding until the child is two years old. This step should be taken by authorities in all countries.
•Spread the knowledge that children are favored by much contact with both its parents.
•A father should be encouraged to let his partner frequently know that he approves of her breastfeeding, and let others know as well.
•Spread images that taking care of children is a masculine behavior.
•Influence politicians and governments to produce laws that give fathers the possibilities to engage more in the concerns of home and children, and mothers the possibilities to engage more in bread-winning labor.
•Start groups for fathers, especially those who live in a vulnerable life situation. Remember that a first time father usually has no knowledge about all the facts that could be important for him and his child, what his role could be, and that he has to battle against much of prejudice if he wants to become what he can become as a father.
•Find out why fathers have negative views towards breastfeeding and with that knowledge know what to do and how to meet those attitudes...
•Many representatives of society must embrace that they are working in organizational structures that are built long ago and as such carries old values, and that it is one of the duties of these professionals to acknowledge this and make efforts for change.
•Men (and boys) should encourage other men (and boys) to engage in taking greater responsibility in domestic work, caring for children, safe sex and family planning.
Monday, July 25, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem
Cameroon is participating in the scaling up malaria prevention for impact, within the Global Fund Round 9 Program Award. To achieve this, the Cameroon national malaria program organised a vast training workshop in all ten regional capitals of the country with the involvement of Health District Medical Chief,Health Bureau Heads Civil Society Organisation (CSO)leaders and Community Based Organisations (CBO) leaders.
In the littoral region, where the head office of Cameroon Link is implanted, Dr. Fondjo Etienne, Sibetcheu Daniel, Biyik and Dr. Noufack Gertrude Bita, were charged as central national supervisors with Dr. Bita Fouda as the general supervisor of the training in Douala, economic capital of Cameroon to scale up the program in 19 health district of the littoral.
During the training, Dr. Fondjio Etienne, videoed on camlink99 YouTube said, 8.654.731 long duration impregnated mosquito nets will be distributed from August 20, 2011 within 6 days throughout the national territory at the same time. The official launching of the national campaign to kick out mosquitoes from communities will be launched by the Head of state, President Paul Biya.
The training organized throughout Cameroon aims at informing, educating, communicating and sharing experiences on how the scaling up strategies could be effected without any hitch. Regional facilitators and supervisors have been trained and it was the turn of the leaders of the Civil Society Organisations and Community Based Organisations to capacitate them on the message to take to the populations within communities during the campaign.
The first phase will consist of counting the beneficiaries of the impregnated mosquito nets of long duration, to document the number of vouchers that will be distributed in exchange of the nets when the time comes. In affect, all households will be visited by persons recruited as social mobilizers and and registers during the campaign. Officially opening the training in Douala, Dr. Bita Fouda told the participants that the campaign must be of high quality, since all development target groups have been associated to the exercise on the field. This video has been brought to you by Cameroon Link for sharing,because this is the largest and most expensive malaria campaign that Cameroon has ever had. Cameroon Link was selected as the Civil Society Organisation to monitor the campaign in the Health District of Bonasssama supervised by Dr. Nzima Nzima Valery.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem
Coordinator, WABA Men’s Initiative
Emeritus Professor Michael Latham passed into transition peacefully around 4:30pm on(April 1, 2011). He was surrounded by his sons and friends during his transition. Michael 's leadership and devotion to human nutrition worldwide lives on in the many graduate students he has trained, who have gone on to be leaders in their own right, as well as in the many colleagues he has influenced through his research and writings. Michael was seen as a "Living Legend" in international nutrition and this loss is especially painful for Cornell University and the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Considering his activities during the WABA conferences, the members of Men’s Working Group have lost a deeply caring, thoughtful and committed colleague.
The family believes Michael is still with us, just in a different way. They really appreciated all of the support during Michael's period of poor health and they expect to read more about his life in the days ahead. The United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition issued an award of merit to Michael Latham for his outstanding lifelong contributions and service to nutrition in Hanoi, Vietnam in March 2008. Professor Michael Latham was honoured by Dr. Elisabeth Sterken, the Chair of NGO/Civil Society Group who highlighted his important contributions to advancing health and nutrition among mothers and children. Professor Latham has had a distinguished career in academia and in health service, working in Tanzania and Uganda in Africa before joining the Graduate School of Nutrition at Cornell University where he continues to supervise students. He is a cofounder and co-chair of the advisory group of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. His legacy however, is through his students who work throughout the world extending his commitment to maternal and child health.
Still in 2008, about 60 former students of Cornell Professor Michael Latham and his international nutrition program honoured their former professor at Cornell, July 3-6.
The Cornell International Nutrition Alums Reunion celebrated Latham's 40 years as professor of international nutrition, his scientific and other contributions to health and nutrition worldwide and his 80th birthday. Alumni hailed from such countries as Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania, Guatemala, Sweden and Haiti, as well as from many parts of the United States and Canada.
In May 2007, the African Nutrition Graduate Students Network (AGSNet) presented its first lifetime achievement award to Dr. Michael C. Latham (right), professor emeritus and graduate school professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell, for his work to improve nutrition in Africa.
The award was presented at the first conference of the Federation of African Societies of Nutrition in Ouarzazate, Morocco, May 7-9, 2007. A day earlier, Dr. Latham delivered the inaugural address, "Combating Infections to Control Malnutrition," at the second biennial conference of AGSNet, which was founded at Cornell with the help of then UNU Food and Nutrition Programme (UNU-FNP) director Cr. Cutberto Garza. UNU-FNP still sponsors the network.
Dr. Latham was director of Cornell's Program in International Nutrition for 25 years. He also authored several books, including Kilimanjaro Tales: The Saga of a Medical Family in Africa, Human Nutrition in Tropical Africa and Human Nutrition in the Developing World" and more than 350 journal articles. He frequently served as a consultant in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the World Health Organization, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and the White House. In 1994 he consulted with Fidel Castro on how to curb Cuba's neuropathy epidemic.
Monday, February 28, 2011
By Cameroon Link
The different articulations of the Commonwealth of Learning were shared with the members of the Federation of Cameroon Breastfeeding promotion Associations, FECABPA, on the 18th February 2011, at the head office of Cameroon Link in Douala on the occasion of the 8th ordinary general assembly. Members of FECABPA used the opportunity to review their past activities in 2010 and exchanged on ways of introducing the open distance learning strategy into their 2011 action plan.
Considering that the World Breastfeeding Week, WBW, celebrated in August each year falls within the scope of maternal and child health protection, FECABPA resolved to work with the COL Cameroon Link partnership liaison for the preparation of activities at the national level with the support of the ministry of public health.
The theme of WBW 2011 – “Talk to Me! Breastfeeding, a 3D Experience” was discussed. The theme is made available each year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WABA. This year’s activities will focus on youths around the world.
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration and awareness campaign highlighting and recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding in communities across the globe. While there has been overwhelming support for breastfeeding from various international agencies (UNICEF, WHO, etc), women still face significant barriers and obstacles in their breastfeeding experiences. WBW aims to bring breastfeeding to the forefront of community agendas so everyone can be part of the dialogue!
Within the planned activities of mother and child health care radio design programmes, COL Cameroon Link exchanged with members of FECABPA on the meaning of the WBW theme, what the different nutrition and health associations want to accomplish in 2011,
Issues related to the theme include;
Poverty Reduction, Hunger & Breastfeeding – MDG 1
“double burden” & breastfeeding – MDG 4
Maternal health & breastfeeding – MDG 5
Unethical formula marketing – Quick fact about the Code,
Environmental protection & breastfeeding – save x% waste from conserving on trash & cows milk
Breastfeeding in the workplace – one of the places gov. play the BIGGEST role is policy to allow mothers to work and breastfeed
Youth & breastfeeding and
Breastfeeding and human capital development
The COL Cameroon Link Partnership Liaison, James Achanyi-Fontem, who doubles as the International Coordinator of WABA Men’s Initiative for promoting, protecting and supporting lactating mothers called on FECABPA members to work on ‘community’ or ‘communication’ oriented action ideas and highlight new ideas suggestions to improve the promotion breastfeeding activities using communication and youth involvement as well as other humanitarian movements (as organizations that work on the right of the women and children, gender issues, violence against women’s and children’s ,etc)
He added that research highlights will fit in this programme context, if associations looked at “Recommendation” section of studies that deal with counselling breastfeeding mothers, because often it seems like information is passed, but mother does not abide by the advice given by medical professionals. Participants during the events organized from the 1st – 7th August should highlight disparity and need for proper communication.
“With so many communication channels at our finger tips, now is the time to truly share and empower. It is also a challenge for us to think creatively about how to get the timeless message across and involve non-traditional audiences. All a mother needs is to feel supported, and this support must come from all angles, and all social contacts. This year’s theme is meant to remind us that breastfeeding really is a 3D experience – an outreach opportunity, an investment in a healthy future, and ultimately, a unique lens by which to see the world. Remember, men often are uninformed, women need encouragement, and youth are our future, questioning everything. We are the world out there, and we want to know. Please, Talk to me!!”
16 members representing 9 active infant and young child feeding associations based in Limbe, Yaounde, Ebolowa and Douala took part in COL Cameroon programme sharing exchanges meeting, which was reported on Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) and Canal 2 Tv.
On the way forward, members adopted the following general orientations during the year 2011:
Expand on COL and FECABPA action partnership to include ministry of public health, ministry of education, ministry for women and the family, WHO, UNICEF, and other potential funding organisations.
Focalise activities on youths in conformity with the theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2011, “Talk to me about Breastfeeding”
Organise more COL Cameroon Programme sharing of activities outcome with more national groups, as a means of reinforcing capacities of their members.
Work closely with associations at health district level for targeting grassroot populations.
The next national working session with associations was scheduled for Ebolowa, in the south region of Cameroon on Saturday, 25th June 2011.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem, Cameroon
The Executive Director of Farm Radio International, Kervin Perkins, has informed its African Partner Organizations that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will continue to give support to FRI work in 2011. This information was made known in the FRI Weekly Bulletin of February 2011
To break the news, Kervin Perkins said, 2011 is off to a great start, at a time FRI completed the 42-month African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) and was already pulling together reports and spreading the news about what it learned because of the research.
FRI director acknowledged that FRI gathered compelling evidence, for the first time, that participatory radio works and works well! This means that when radio programs feature farmers' voices and perspectives and features practical, sustainable farming practices they are very widely listened to and have a measurable significant impact on farmers' knowledge and most importantly, their practices.
On the strength of these findings and the outstanding work of Farm Radio International's staff in Africa and Ottawa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has offered a second grant to allow us FRI extend effective farm radio services to more farmers in more countries! The 92nd script package released in late December 2010, focuses on the very important issue of water integrity in Africa.
Farm Radio Weekly, is FRI electronic bulletin of news and information about small scale-farming for African radio broadcasters, and it passed the 1000 African subscriber mark in 2010. To strengthen its ability to serve these rural broadcasters even better, FRI have opened two small news bureaus in Africa - one in Malawi, and one in Burkina Faso. These bureaus are already generating original stories about farming issues for Farm Radio Weekly. Another exciting piece of news is that the 2010 winner of the George Atkins Communication Award, Grace Amito, will visit Canada in March 2011.
Grace is the producer and host of farm radio programs at Mega FM in Northern Uganda. During her travel to Canada, she will meet with and give presentations to friends of Farm Radio International in Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph and Montreal. Friends and donors to Farm Radio International will get hard facts about Africa and the work of FRI during the rounds. Brenda Jackson at email@example.com is booking appointments on this eventful trip by our African colleague. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions on how to expand FRI work in Africa, please email Kervin Perkins through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, February 4, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem,
The Centre for Counselling, Nutrition and Health Care (COUNSENUTH) has announced the election of Pauline Kisanga as new Executive Director for COUNSENUTH, effective from 1st January 2011. According to the organisation, this change is part of COUNSENUTH’s usual process of activating leadership. Mrs. Kisanga takes over from Ms. Restituta Shirima who served as Executive Director from January 2007 to December 2010.
Mrs. Kisanga is taking to the centre a wealth of experience and expertise which is expected to make COUNSENUTH grow, expand and flourish. Mrs Kisanga has long experience in nutrition and management, which includes the years served as a Director for Community Nutrition and also Director for Nutrition Education at Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) in the 1990s.
From Tanzania, Pauline Kisanga served as Regional for the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) Africa, based in Swaziland for 12 years. COUNSENUTH is excited having her and looks forward to very fruitful years ahead for the organisation under her leadership.
Cameroon Link will join all the members of the WABA Men’s Working Group to accord her the cooperation that previous directors have enjoyed. Cameroon Link appreciates the partnership/collaboration it has always had with COUNSENUTH, and looks forward to
even stronger partnerships and working relations in order to continue efforts towards improvement of the quality of life of all mothers and children in Tanzania, Cameroon and Africa as a whole. The chairperson of COUNSENUTH, Mary G. Materu, announcing the good news said, “Together we can make a positive difference”.Congratulations! Pauline. For information, visit the website or write to: Mary G. Materu, MSc., Chairperson The Centre for Counselling, Nutrition and Health Care (COUNSENUTH)
432 United Nations Road, P.O. Box 8218, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Cell Phone: (255) 754 279 145
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
By James Achanyi-Fontem, Coordinator, WABA MWG
Sarah Amin, Director of WABA, has announced two very important promotions within the secretariat of the organisation on February 1, 2011. The announcement was done on Kong Hei Fatt Choy - The Chinese New Year’s day. The Chinese new year of the metal rabbit came with the good tidings of two promotions within the WABA Secretariat:
The first is the promotion of Julianna Lim Abdullah, IBCLC, our very own International World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Coordinator, to Deputy Director of WABA. Julianna started her new position as of 1 February 2011 and is taking on more of the administrative and management task of the office; working closely with Sita Letchmi and the director.
The second promotion is Sita Letchmi, who moved from Coordinator of Administration and Governance to Senior Coordinator also started 1 February 2011. She is taking on more of the financial responsibilities together with the director of WABA.
The Financial Officer, Dorothy Teng, is reported to have resigned as of 1 February 2011. The Secretariat will be advertising the position for a new Accounts person soon.
Bravo! Julianna and Sita from the Men’s Working Group and Cameroon Link
By James Achanyi-Fontem
Eunice Sanborn,114, from Texas, USA died on Monday, January 31, 2011, Eunice was believed to be the world's oldest person on earth until she passed away, although she had maintained she was actually 115.
Eunice Sanborn died at 6 a.m. at her home in Jacksonville, her close friend and caretaker, David French, told the Jacksonville Daily Progress. David French, Sanborn's “adopted” son and caretaker, said her death was a peaceful one.“The Lord just called her home,” he said. “He had been using her as a powerful witness for 115 years.
“It was a very peaceful death. She was not uncomfortable.”
Sanborn has been a Jacksonville icon for years, thanks to her involvement in the community and her ownership of Love's Lookout. She rose to nationwide fame in April 2010, however, when she was declared the oldest living person in the U.S.
Not long after, in November 2010, she was declared the world's oldest living person upon the death of Eugenie Blanchard, a nun from the French West Indies.
Sanborn turned 115 in July 2010 and lived at home with 24-hour care until her death.
She was born July 20, 1895, in Lake Charles, La.
Jacksonville Daily Progress / AFP / Getty Images
Eunice Sanborn, who was recognized as the world's oldest person, died at her home in Jacksonville, Texas. According to official records, she was 114 years old, but she maintained she was really 115.
"The Lord just called her home," French said. "He has been using her as powerful witness for 115 years."
Census records show Sanborn was born on July 20, 1896, in Lake Charles, La., according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which listed Sanborn as the world's oldest person.
But French said Sanborn always maintained the Census Bureau had made a mistake and she was really born in 1895. She celebrated what she believed was her 115th birthday on July 20, 2010 Agence France-Presse reported.
Sanborn became known as the world's oldest person on Nov. 4, when French nun Eugenie Blanchard died at age 114 on the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy, The Associated Press said.
The distinction now goes to 114-year-old Besse Cooper, who was born on Aug. 26, 1896, and lives in Georgia, the Gerontology Research Group said. Walter Breuning, of Montana, also 114, now becomes the world's second-oldest person. He was born Sept. 21, 1896.
Sanborn was married and widowed three times, according to a 2008 profile in the Houston Chronicle. Her third husband died in 1979. She also outlived her only child, a daughter.