Training sessions South Africa

28/03/2011

Sunday 27th I headed for Johannesburg. On Monday 28th the training at the University of Johannesburg was scheduled. The university has over 47.000 students! We organized the training as a workshop, open not only for the research team working on the project, but also for professionals working at mental health and addiction treatment services. And even though it was holiday season for the students, over 40 persons attended the workshop.

Alban Burke opened the session by highlighting the fact that adult ADHD is hardly recognized in South Africa. He expected the workshop would be, apart from training for the project, of huge importance for gaining awareness of adult ADHD and its linkage to Substance Use Disorders.

I used the morning for picturing the context of the study. The relevance of the study for South Africa is very important. I used slides from Russel Barkley commenting on his Milwaukee longitudinal study in which he compares adult (27 years) outcome of children with and without ADHD. The ADHD children have far poorer outcomes on every domain of life: education, work, accidents, psychiatric comorbidities (including substance use disorders), crime.

I used the presentation professor Basil Pillay gave during the expert meeting on ADHD and SUD in November 2010 in Cape Town. This presentation shows the shocking reality of trauma and its linkage with substance abuse in South Africa.

And finally I used research professor Anneke Meyer of the Limpopo University did on prevalence of ADHD in children in different ethnic groups in the Northern province of South Africa, resulting in prevalence rates very much in range with figures from Europe and the USA.

In the afternoon we extensively discussed the advantages and pitfalls of the instruments we use in the study. It was interesting for the researchers ànd the professionals in the audience, given the positive reactions after the workshop.

The day closed with a traditional Boeren Braai, a South African barbeque, with delicious self catered food, for which I thank the IASP research team at the University of Johannesburg.

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