Brain Awareness Week is here! The campaign to spread the word about the wonders of the brain and nervous system is not just here in the United States. BAW is a global campaign, and we are proud to report that awareness is being raised on every continent but Antarctica (clearly the penguins are out of touch). This week, we will be highlighting events on one continent per day, starting today with Africa and finishing with Europe on Saturday.
Efforts to increase brain awareness in Africa continue to grow! Six nations participated in BAW 2012; this year, eight nations are taking part. BAW 2013 participation includes partners in: Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria and South Africa.
Nigeria leads the way in Africa, with two-thirds of the continent’s 30 BAW events. Many events in Nigeria focus on deterring drug use and abuse amongst secondary school students. Universities across the nation will head into schools to teach students about the brain, and the detrimental effects of drug use on it. One particularly interesting event in Nigeria aims to educate people on the facts about epilepsy in hopes of refuting local hearsay that voodooism is the cause of the disorder.
Here at the Dana Foundation we love the Brain Bee competition, and we are proud to say that the competition has now found its way to Africa via Nigeria and Kenya; we hope the competition continues to grow. A Florida based foundation will be educating the people of Accra, Ghana, on signs and symptons of acute brain hemorrhage. This kind of intercontinental Brain Awareness Week exchange is fantastic and we hope to see more of it the future. What better way to bring nations and people together than through the brain we all share?
– Simon Fischweicher