Hi all, hope everyone is well and enjoying this lovely Fall weather.  I know I am and, though I feel bad for those slogging out the heat and short rains of vuli in Tanzania, I am glad I’m not there! 

However, it should feel a bit like my other home tomorrow when I attend the DICOTA (Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America) Healthcare Forum of 2017 in Washington DC.  With over 100 participants and 20+ organizations in attendance, this event should truly be an unparalleled collaboration of the brightest minds in healthcare and academia, focused on Tanzania. 

Per the welcome note of DICOTA president Charles Bishota: “This is a record-breaking forum hosted by the Tanzanian diaspora in the US and made possible by our sponsors and your participation.  At the forum we will have two “Super Sessions” planned, in which Tanzanian-based professionals will reflect on their experiences pursuing healthcare projects, and US-based professionals will give insights on opportunities for the Tanzanian diaspora in healthcare.  We are also offering four breakout sessions, all of which were selected to be of global interest, highly stimulating, and thought provoking.  Topics span from what it takes to execute a medical mission to Tanzania to learning how to effectively partner with organizations working to address the social stigma from mental health and learning disability in Tanzania.”

For my part, I will be on a panel on mental health and learning difficulties, speaking a bit about what Toa does as well as my experiences trying to affect change from the ground up.  I will discuss Toa’s public-private partnership with the GoT and how we work within the existing school system to support the majority of public primary school students to succeed in their lessons.  A full report to come next week when I am back in New York; meantime, check out the posters below and, for the Swahili speakers who might be reading this, peep the video!