Visit to Kenya
The Schizophrenia Foundation of Kenya (SFK) a voluntary organization helping families, friends and people with schizophrenia and related disorders conducted a two-day Family Education Workshop in Nairobi in March of 2002. Jim Crowe, WFSAD president and Margaret Leggatt, WFSAD past president, were two keynote speakers along with others involved with mental health services in this country. The conference theme was: "Compassionate Mental Health Care A Challenge for All." The goal of the meeting was to strengthen the Family Education Program that provides awareness and promotes family participation and to promote the concept of comprehensive care as visualized by the WFSAD 'Families as Partners in Care' initiative. We quote the introductory paragraph of the comprehensive report that organizers prepared of this conference:
"The goal of the seminar was to strengthen the Family Education Program that is involved in awareness, creation and promotion of families' participation in dealing with schizophrenia and related disorders. Sixty-four participants (from all over Kenya) attended the workshop. They included members of the SFK and affiliated organizations, doctors from private and public health institutions, relatives, caregivers and consumers."
Marg and Jim were very impressed with the enormous progress that has been made since Geraldine Marshall's (WFSAD's 2nd President) intensive visit to Nairobi in 1998. This has been achieved through the extraordinary hard work and perseverance of Lilian Kanaiya. She was the person responsible for this conference, from the initial contacts with WHO (which provided the funds for the conference) and her Government Health Department (which was represented at the conference who provided the transport in Nairobi and for our visit to Nyahururu in the north). It was exciting to be part of this conference; the atmosphere was enthusiastic and the participation by family carers and consumers obviously an "unusual" thing to be happening, we believe created a real "turning point" for the future way of working with patients and their families in this country.
Psychiatrist member of the Nyahururu branch of SFK thanks Marg Leggatt for her participation in the workshop.
The visit to Kenya was part of visit to three countries in Africa, under the WFSAD program Strengthening Families through Empowerment. We are grateful to Nona and Bill Heaslip for supporting this initiative.
SFK Patron Wairimu presents certificates to participants at the March 2002 workshop.