South Africa and ICASA - Part 1

23/11/2010

About collaboration

I am flying to Cape Town, South Africa. With ICASA, the Bergen Clinics Foundation, the Cape Town University and with local experts and professionals we will set the first steps towards collaborative research projects on ADHD and Substance Abuse in South Africa.

So far the participants in ICASA come from Europe, Australia and the USA: western countries. Exploring collaboration with South African colleagues is a new step and I am looking forward to it very much.

At this very moment for the first time in my life I see the African continent. At the coast of Algiers we enter Africa.

 (If you look very very close next to the arrow, you will see the African coast) 

While flying I am talking with my neighbor. He runs a business in several countries, also in South Africa. He and his company feel responsible. Not only for making money, but also for his employees and the communities he works with. He and his company set up several soccer-schools in South Africa, and together with local communities and also with the local government and the Dutch government they work on enhancement of water, food and health situations for the communities where his company works.

He stresses the need for collaboration in the true meaning of the word. Working together, with several goals in mind. Working on these goals asks for responsibility and hard work of both partners, and will be of benefit for both partners.

This is why I set up a program for Wednesday and Thursday 24th/ 25th November, in order to learn more from the South African situation related to addiction treatment and addiction research, and how it is embedded in the local communities.

My goal for this trip is that we set up a task force, in which South African experts will work with ICASA participants, in order to develop collaborative projects. Very strong and important issues related to Addiction and ADHD and of huge impact on South African society are: Crime and HIV/AIDS. In targeting ADHD and SUD we might contribute to solving parts of these problems as well.

Wednesday 24th November we will visit the Stikland Hospital for mental health and addiction. Dr. Lize Weich, a local psychologist will guide us. We will also meet professor Dan Stein, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Cape Town.

Outside my window I see the endless Sahara dessert. What a job I have…!

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