Brian and Body Foundation (BBF) is a registered Non-profit organization established to make important nutrients which are critical to the healthy development of children easily accessible to parents and caregivers.
BBF, in partnership with government, international donors and funders, non-governmental organizations and well-meaning individuals, seeks to provide well-researched, well-proven and safe modalities that impact health, at discounted rates or free of charge to children and adults who would otherwise not have had access to them.
To become the caring center of excellence that provides sustainable healthcare solutions for individuals with brain disorders and life limiting chronic diseases such as sickle cell disease, cardiovascular diseases and others.
At BBF we believe that the solutions to many health challenges lie within us, within our physical bodies. By nourishing and strengthening the body, especially in the areas affected, we can help the body heal itself, reverse damage and restore health and vigor.
Using science based and well researched solutions we strive to support patients living with brain disorders and other chronic diseases, including sickle cell anemia. By raising awareness on such chronic conditions through various media platforms, we provide the best possible care to every patient at no cost to them through integrated clinical consultations, education and research. We seek for effective nutraceuticals that have proven track records in dealing with such chronic diseases and build a bridge between the source of such solutions and those in need of them.
WHAT WE DO:
All our projects are driven by the following objectives:
- To provide relief for select children suffering from the tragic consequences of brain damage or mal-development in hospitals and communities free of charge or at a discounted cost, beginning in Abuja, Nigeria and extending to other African countries.
- To raise public awareness about the reality and causes of brain disorders, the burden they impose on society, and the evidence-based solutions available, in order to encourage government and private institutions to join the campaign to promote brain health nationwide.
- To develop simple but effective protocols which other practitioners can easily implement.
The Brain and Body Foundation Team are hardworking, efficient and dedicated professionals with a keen interest in healthcare provision, research and development. Our Team Leader, Dr Adedayo David Ajibade, is the Founder and Executive Director. He has spent the last fifteen years seeking out, researching literature and working with experts in the field of brain health in a bid to discovering the very best and most practical solutions to mental health conditions, especially those which can be utilized in developing countries like autism, cerebral palsy and stroke.
He is supported by Chris Ebadan, a trained pharmacist with over twenty years’ experience in the pharmaceutical space. He serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the foundation.
We consult with parents of children suffering from brain disorders and other neuro-developmental challenges in partnership with other healthcare professionals.
NIGERIA’S UNIQUE SITUATION
Nigeria’s healthcare situation is unique. The health challenges facing Nigerians are myriad. We have, in addition to the commonly known statistics – the second highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, for instance – we also have among the highest rates of breast cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (leading to heart attacks, strokes and renal failure), as well as mental health and neurological disorders – strokes, meningitis, seizure disorders, as well as sleep disorders and psychosis).
We also occupy the unenviable position of having the highest population of sickle cell disease patients in the world.
And yet our ability to meet these challenges is severely curtailed by shortcomings in several key areas:
- Expertise: There are fewer than 100 hematologists to over 2 million sickle cell disease sufferers, and fewer than 100 cardiologists to over 60 million people (three out of every ten Nigerians) living with cardiovascular disease)
- Education/Awareness: Public knowledge on basic health principles (what foods to eat and what foods to avoid, for instance) as pertains to the Nigerian culture and environment.
- Health infrastructure – diagnostic, therapeutic and monitoring and evaluation instruments, as well as actual physical facilities/locations throughout the nation.
- Health systems and policies.
The picture among Nigerians is bleak, to say the least. Black people in general, and Nigerians in particular are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to cardiovascular disease. In the US, where statistics are more readily available, African men and women are TWICE as likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke as Caucasians (white people) are.
Other troubling statistics:
- Although the incidence of stroke is in the ascendancy globally, it has assumed a frightening dimension in Nigeria where about 190,000 people suffer the ailment annually. More worrisome is the fact that even young people are becoming more and more vulnerable to the disease which, before now, was only associated with the elderly.
- According to cardiologists, more than 60 per cent of Nigerians, who are hypertensive, do not know they have high blood pressure.
- According to data from the World Health Organization, over half a million Nigerians died from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2012, and 1 out of every 5 Nigerian adults over the age of 30 will likely die prematurely from NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases. In terms of risk factors for heart disease 35% of Nigerian adults had elevated blood pressures in 2008, another 6.5%, mostly women, were obese.
- Research shows that hypertension rates jumped from 11 per cent in 1997 to 40 per cent in 2013.
Neuro-developmental Challenges in Nigeria:
Neuro-developmental disorders are impairments of the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system. A narrower use of the term refers to a disorder of brain function that affects emotion, learning ability, self-control and memory and that unfolds as an individual develops and grows.
Recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control indicates that autism is the fastest growing developmental disability with a 10-17 percent annual growth rate.
Currently, one in every 50 children in the US is autistic. Nigerians are not spared. Unfortunately, there are no protocols available to successfully treat autism, leaving parents and caregivers on their own to seek solutions, sometimes from the wrong places.
The Plight of Children with Sickle Cell Disease:
Nigeria has the highest rate of Sickle Cell disease in the world. Every year, about two percent of babies in Nigeria are born with Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) translating to no fewer than 150,000 children. Out of this number, an estimated 100,000 infants die due to the disorder. Half of them will not see their 10th birthday.
Challenges Managing Brain Disorders and Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria
Hospitals in Nigeria are literally teeming with children suffering from Sickle Cell Disease and one neuro-developmental challenge or the other. Each year this number increases. If nothing is done, the future socioeconomic impact on the economy could be devastating, especially since the average lifespan of Nigerians is still only about 54 years.
The Following are some of the Challenges involved in addressing SCD in Nigeria:
- Finance / Funding: Poor availability of resources to the public health and welfare sectors and economic inflation are severely curtailing access to appropriate medical and social services.
- Location/access to services: Most of the clinical neuroscience services are located in the capital cities, often the largest urban areas, where the professionals also often lecture at the medical schools. Neurology and SCD patients must often travel long distances to consult with a doctor in the city. This situation is frustrating to the families of a growing number of surviving SCD and Neurology patients in urban or middle to upper income groups.
- Lack of basic amenities: The facilities and basic infrastructure (uninterrupted power supply, for example) needed to support standard neurological diagnosis (e.g. MRI scanning) and treatment are lacking. Efforts to create more awareness of SCD are paradoxically increasing frustration and stigmatization in the absence of a commensurate improvement of services.
- Ignorance: Illiteracy, cultural beliefs, poverty and other factors all contribute to a widespread level of ignorance, even among the more well off of society. Any measures aimed at enhancing the sensitization of health professionals, policy makers, and resource allocators to the pertinent issues in the control of SCD would seem to be at this stage an important step in the right direction.
THE BRAIN AND BODY FOUNDATION APPROACH
It is in view of this bleak background that we wish to introduce the Brain and Body Foundation (BBF).
BBF was established to provide science based well researched solutions to many of these problems – most importantly, solutions that can be applied in remote rural as well as urban areas, without fear of toxicity or harm to the patient.
We are a duly registered not-for-profit organization established to address the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, mental health and neurological disorders among Nigerians by providing free consultations, distribution of brain health promoting neutraceuticals, physical therapy and psychotherapy, education of the general public and training of healthcare professionals.
Mode of Operation:
BBF concentrates on four main thematic areas, encapsulated in the acronym C.A.R.E.
C.A.R.E. stands for: Charity, Advocacy, Research, and Education. Each activity is undertaken with the collaboration and support of local and international organizations.
Primarily, we provide free consultations, nutrients and supplements for children living with Sickle Cell Disease and neurological deficits to address damaged brain tissue and restore lost function (sample results below). We are also looking to expand free health care and distribution of prenatal supplements to expectant mothers so as to tackle SCD and neurological deficits at the root, before the unborn child is affected. Organizations that have assisted us in this include the Inflammation Research Foundation, which has supplied us with highly potent omega 3 fatty acid supplements, and Royal Body Care, Inc. in Dallas Texas, which also has graciously supplied us with numerous nutrients for brain health.
The results have been quite remarkable based on reports given by the doctors, parents and guardians of the children who have been beneficiaries of the Foundation).*
So far the foundation has donated supplements and medications worth over 80 million naira to patients.
*Videos and written testimonials available upon request.
Since Sickle Cell Disease and most brain health challenges begin between conception and the first few years of life, we attempt to influence government policy by education, presentation of scientifically backed research findings, sensitization campaigns and nationwide seminars.
For cardiovascular disease and cancers, we seek to educate and enlighten the general public on these disorders.
We are constantly researching to find out the safest and most cost effective ways to helping children and adults with brain health challenges, especially those that can be easily applied in remote communities in Nigeria. The results of our works are being published in African and international journals.
Parents and caregivers are desperately searching for tools and solutions to help their children, reduce pain, reduce the severity of the symptoms they experience on a day to day basis, and help them play and develop like other normal children. And yet, these solutions are many times, out of their reach.
In the final analysis, people must take care of their own health, by making informed decisions and taking intelligent action.
We thus focus on providing the average, non-medical person with the information they need to achieve this through seminars, online teachings through our website, social media, emails, etc.
POSITIVE RESULTS USING THE BBF APPROACH
Since the inception of BBF, our main concentration has been on patients with the following conditions:
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Cerebral Palsy (due mainly to birth Asphyixia and Hyperbilirubinemia)
- Down Syndrome and other genetic disorders
- Autism and related disorders.
- Complications of sickle cell disease (e.g. strokes), and
- Seizure disorders.
Our clients are mainly children aged six months to fifteen years. We see about 50 patients each month, but this number continues to increase as more and more people get informed of our work.
In the past, patients came to BBF mainly from hospital referrals but as more and more positive results have been observed, parents have referred others. This has resulted in an influx of patients whose parents simply cannot afford their care.