Friday, February 10, 2012

Kick it to Cameroon

Benwie Kalawie, Bafut, Cameroon
To see the girls play click on this link
It started rather innocently. A small girl asking for a soccer ball.

Female volunteer trainers
It then snow balled into this campaign, called "Kick it to Cameroon". At least four different groups in Westchester including Mahopac, Yorktown  and New York City asked their kids soccer clubs to donate equipment. Betti Lewis, an AIDSfreeAFRICA volunteer, offered to help coordinate the collection and transport. Dr. Paul Winslow, a scientist running an educational non-profit called "Science 2 Students" was building cargo container crates for AIDSfreeAFRICA to ship drug production equipment. He stuffed the balls into the gaps and then built an additional crate for the soccer equipment. A shipper then accompanied the container to Cameroon, successfully getting it through customs without the loss of a single ball! A friend receiving diapers for his handicapped adult son, picked up the goods from Douala, transported it to Bamenda, and finally, myself and AIDSfreeAFRICA country representative Mr. Polycarp carried it off to the village of Esu.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cameroon Pharmaceutical Industry, Cinpharm

click drawing to see company web site  

Cinpharm is a 24 million US dollar high tech production facility owned and operated by Cameroonians, CEO Mr. Celestin Tawamba. The factory went into production of 40 essential drugs and IV fluids with high capacity output.

Cinpharm signs collaboration agreement with AIDSfreeAFRICA  
Cinpharm signs collaboration agreement with AIDSfreeAFRICA. Picture from left: Dr. Ernest Tonye, Cinpharm; Dr. Efange, University of Buea; Dr. Issa Hamadjoda, Cinpharm; Dr. Rolande Hodel, AIDSfreeAFRICA.
In addition to asking for equipment, the company seeks to hire highly trained manangerial and scientific personnel, is looking for reliable cost efficient sources for raw materials and support with maintenance and trouble shooting.
AIDSfreeAFRICA is reaching out to the Cameroonian diaspora working in US as Pharmacists to return to Cameroon. We are also collaborating with the American Chemical Society and the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry to attract qualified personal.

Dr. Paul Winslow and Dr. Rolande Hodel
AIDSfreeAFRICA delivered analytical equipment worth ½ million $US. The used equipment was donated by US Pharmaceutical companies, collected and crated by Dr. Paul Winslow, head of a New Jersey based non-profit called “Students 2 Science”.

Four analytical instruments plus spare parts
Good Manufacturing Procedure or GMP, it is the standard followed in the Pharmaceutical Industry the world over. GMP requires that every batch of drugs produced has to be analyzed for its quality. One of the machines needed to comply with this standard is called a HPLC which stands for High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. It confirms that the correct active drug is in a tablet in the correct amount. It would also show if there are impurities present.
Cinpharm has a few of these machines but its growing manufacturing requires more of these expensive tools. Thus Cinpharm asked asked AIDSfreeAFRICA for one machine. Dr. Hodel came back to the US, asking for three, Paul Winslow offered four machines and much more. 

Fron Left: Dr. Issa Hamadjoda, Cinpharm,
Dr. Simon Efange, Universitry of Buea, Dr. Rolande Hodel
Opening Cinpharm's doors, literally, AIDSfreeAFRICA introduces  Prof. Efange from the University of Buea to Dr. Hamadjoda. Bringing people together, bringing resources, networking within Cameroon and across continents, is what Dr. Hodel enjoys most. 
The University benefited from the shipment by receiving UV-vis photo spectrometer, rotor evaporators, water purification units, glassware and more. Amazingly, whatever was not useful to industry was highly sought after by the University. Nothing went to waste, even the optical microscope, it went north to a small medical clinic.