Posted by Danielle Matia on October 31, 2012
The meeting was launched by special guest His Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania. Participating in this Historic Inaugural Africa Colloquium on CML and Africa Workshop for CML Patient Leaders in in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania were physicians, patient leaders, oncology nurses, medical students, and faculties representing 11 different African nations.
At the colloquium, faculty members, Prof. Goldman and Prof. Mughal shared the latest scientific results within the field of CML, while Pat, MAX’s Executive Director addressed the crucial topic of access to these next generations of medications in Africa and the importance of patient monitoring.
MAX’s impact was truly felt through conversations with patients, physicians, as well as interviews with the media attended by Pat, Prof Goldman, Prof Mughal, Prof Ngoma and the Minister of Health.
Day two of the gathering was also remarkable! Patients and caregivers from Dar es Salaam joined our 12 patient leaders for a patient based education session on CML. Anatoria and Moses, patient leaders from Tanzania, took the opportunity to invite their peers from Tanzania to come together as a group. Many exchanged phone numbers and were eager to ask Dr. Maunda questions about their health status.
One of the most heart-warming outcomes of the meeting was the direct advocacy on behalf of a patient, spontaneously carried out by Edwards, patient leader from Uganda and Anatoria. Together, they were able to solve the challenge that a patient was facing due to distance and lack of money to attend her clinic appointment as required. Patients and patient leaders were able to share and learn about activities in other countries via posters presented by each country patient leader.
A few lines on paper cannot fully express how emotional this session in creating the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration was for me. During the last three years at MAX, we have focused our attention on solving the diagnostic problem facing most of the African countries. Our goal was set during our first trip to Tanzania in 2009, when Dr. Abdulaziz, from Ethiopia, did not miss a moment to tell everyone there about the plight of his patients who are not able to pay the 600USD it takes to send the test to Germany. Today, Ethiopia’s diagnostic problems have been solved because of The MAX Foundation’s relentless commitment to collaborate with physicians, patient leaders, the iCMLf, and other supportive organizations to see that patients from Africa get access to monitoring.
Launching CML Life Africa in Tanzania was very significant because it not only allowed us to return to where it all began, but also gave us the chance to make even bigger goals to ensure that this organization becomes as strong as it needs to be in order to fully advocate for better treatment access for patients.