On December 15th 2016 Femke Bannink-Mbazzi successfully defended her PhD on 'Social Inclusion, Care and Belonging of Children with Spina Bifida: Perspectives from Uganda' at Ghent University, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, research group Disability Studies and Inclusive Education. Femke has lived in Uganda since 2003, and is an independent psychologist, trainer and advisor. She works with children and adults with disabilities, mental health problems, and learning difficulties in Uganda, and has been involved in IF's programs in Uganda since 2009. Femke also was a speaker during IF's Turning Points conference, where she presented on 'Experiences of belonging of children with spina bifida in Uganda'. Her study in Uganda was partly funded by IF and Child-Help.
The year 2016 is coming to an end and we are deeply grateful to all our members, partners, donors and other supporters for your continued contributions to our work and for helping IF to achieve its mission. Only if we push together, we can achieve turning points that will improve the quality of life for people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and their families and reduce the incidence of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus by primary prevention. We would like to look back with you on some of our achievements this year, and forward to our plans in 2017.
The Africa Network Event, which was held on 5 October 2016 in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, celebrated Africa's efforts in fortification of wheat and maize flour with with essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron and folic acid, to improve the population's health by combatting malnutrition.
By the end of 2014, 24 countries in Africa had mandatory legislation for wheat flour fortification to provide essential vitamins and minerals to their populations, while in another 3 countries millers did so voluntarily. Now, 2 years later, 27 countries have mandatory legislation for wheat flour fortification and millers in another 5 do so voluntarily. In addition to this increase we also see that 9 countries have mandatory legislation also for maize flour, while in 2 other countries millers do so voluntarily.