It is said that ” an ounce of prevention is worth tons of cure” This is absolutely true as a lot of people living in sub-Saharan Africa die in remote and undeserved communities silently while struggling with serious chronic but preventable diseases. This is the case simply because a very few people if not none in such communities , have access to adequate and empowering health awareness and information. They live in villages and rural settlements with not access to electricity much more television and radio program on health talk sessions (lack of access to health information services).
Is it there fault to have lived in these areas? Are they not part of the larger society that is enjoying adequate health care services_don’t we equal and equitable rights as citizens of the same world? Do they equally deserve attention to live healthier lives? Do they need to be left to become critically ill before they get diagnosed and medical attention at not even the least standard basic health care facility? What are the governments doing about these challenges? Do we have adequate health education and promotion policies catered for in our health care policies? If we do, are they in practice? What is happening to the dream of such communities amid water justice, environmental crisis, the HIV/AIDS menace, what about other serious but preventable Sexually Transmitted Infections affecting our youth_indeed the cream of our societies? Do they have access to the requisite sexual and reproductive health services_including behavioral change communication? In the midst of these health-development challenges, how do we expect our communities who have already been undeserved to develop and grow into viable and economically independent communities, when diseases have already stricken and ravaged their populations_the youth and able-bodied in particular. The answers to these questions are what formed the basis and rationale for this important workshop and round-table table discussions, highlighting the work and mission of The Nova Scotia – Gambia Association, The Gambia, West Africa, which is very participatory and purely uses grassroots community techniques. The sessions and interactions will surely enhance the visibility, networking and partnership support of this medium but critical member of the civil society in this remote country of the third world. The platform will also highlight and link the work of the agency to relevant policy advocacy resolutions and resource mobilizations discussions at the forum. It will take form of lecture presentations, case study, simulations, story telling, pre and post testing (participant/ learner evaluation), focus group discussions, personal interviews, group works (thematic), plenary discussions, complementary recommendations/resolutions, the way-forward and network/partnership building, common interest scoping, contact sharing and conclusion. I have been recruited a the guest Keynote Speaker at the Atlantic Council for International Council’s (ACIC) Southern Speakers’ Symposium at Memorial University in St. Jones, NL, Canada, in June 2015 (last year) thus I served as panel member and a Facilitator for one of the concurrent workshops. So I already have experience in facilitating such sessions and I look forward to contributing to make this year’s WSF a huge success.
Burris Devanney, Founder & Current Advisor to the NSGA Board
Dr. John LeBlanc , Co-chair, Board of Directors
Dr. Chris Field, Co-chiar, Board of Directors