1st World Federation of ADHD African Regional Meeting:

Improving ADHD assessment and Management in Africa

On November 3rd and 4th of the current year, the World Federation of ADHD in partnership with the Division of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health from Mozambique organized the First WFADHD African Regional Meeting on ADHD. The preparation of the workshop began almost one year ago with joint meetings to decide the agenda (see below) and invited professors and to apply for funding. In December 2017, we got grant approvals from the Ministry of Health in Mozambique, the WFADHD and Shire that jointly funded the meeting.

We extensively divulgated the meeting in Africa in the first semester of 2018, calling for applications from African delegates. We are grateful to key mental health leaders in Africa as Professors Olayinka Omigbodum and Petrus de Vries, as well as the young leadership from the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines living or with origins in Africa as Professors Hesham Hamoda and Jibril O. Abdulmalik who helped us in divulgating the meeting. Finally, Professor Helen Herman, president of the World Psychiatric Association, was also very kind in circulating the announcement of the meeting among their member societies in Africa. At the same time, Professors André Venter from the University of Free State in South Africa and David Coghill from the University of Melbourne in Australia kindly accepted to join Prof. Luis Rohde as mentors in this initiative.

From a huge pool of applications, Professors Olayinka Omigbodum and Luis Rohde selected a group of delegates from 7 countries to attend the meeting (Angola, Benin, Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa). Shire South Africa also brought 5 delegates (see delegates, except Dr. Makiyi, with the 3 speakers in the photo below). 

The enthusiasm with the meeting was so great that one of our delegates, Precious Makiyi from Malawi (see photo below) waited more than 30 hours in the airport of Nairobi (Kenya) due to a flight cancellation just to join us in the second day of the meeting.

These delegates jointed a group of almost 30 mental health professionals from Mozambique. We are very honored to have the meeting opened by the Vice-Minister of Health of the Republica de Moçambique, Prof. Dr. João Leopoldo da Costa, who emphasize the relevance of the training offered to mental health professionals from Mozambique and the opportunity of exchange of experiences among professionals from different African Countries (see a photo with all delegates and the Vice-Minister in the center).

We had an agenda of intense work and debates during the two days, but it turned to be a wonderful opportunity of both sharing experiences on caring patients with ADHD and building collaborations among participants from different African countries. In the end, there was a general sense that this was just the first step and much more should be pursued to increase awareness on ADHD in Africa.

Our hosts from the Division of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health in Mozambique, Dr. Wilza Fumo, Elda Canta and Palmira Fortunato, among others, were impeccable in the organization during the meeting. Thus, we are profoundly grateful to them as well as to Shire and the Ministry of Health in Mozambique for providing the funding for this meeting and for our two mentors from South Africa and Australia, Andre and David, for sharing their time and knowledge with us.

One of the main missions of the WFADHD is to increase the ADHD awareness and improve the care of patients affected by the disorders worldwide. In this sense, we will continue making all efforts to develop initiatives as this one! Professor Luis Augusto Rohde President of the WFADHD