The first item of business upon my arrival in Kinshasa was to retrieve available background information on CDTI Lubutu at the headquarters of the National Onchocerciasis Control Program, and learn as much as I can on the project. I have also made a few trips to the renowned Central Market for Congolese Arts in Kinshasa to check and pick up interesting jewelries for our future fundraising events.
For yet unexplained reasons, the second payment of APOC/WHO funds in support of the 2009 Mectizan distribution activities in the Kasongo region was not released to the project until late November, 2-3 months later than expected. Also without any explanation, the funds received were reduced by about $4,000. Consequently, a decision was made by the project coordinator and his team, given the shortfall in the amount of funds available, to distribute the drug in only two of the remaining three health zones (Kampene and Kabambare) during January 2010, and to include Pangi, the remaining health zone, in the normal 2010 Mectizan distribution plans starting in June 2010. The distribution in Kampene has now been completed and the one in Kabambare will start next week for about ten days.
On Wednesday, January 20, I plan to visit CDTI Lubutu, a potential future project for UFAR, before returning to Kinshasa on January 25.
As usual, I thank you for your financial, moral and spiritual support.