SCAC - Speak Clear Association of Cameroon

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Updated: Sep 23, 2004


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ISA - International Stuttering Association

The SPEAK CLEAR ASSOCIATION OF CAMEROON (SCAC)
AND GENETIC RESEARCH ON STUTTERING.

Several members of the SPEAK CLEAR ASSOCIATION OF CAMEROON (SCAC) are presently taking part in an important genetic research project aimed at finding out what role genes plays in transmitting stuttering.
   Although there is no single cause for stuttering, it is often believed that both genetic and non-genetic factors are involved in causing stuttering. Stuttering
has however been recognized to run in certain families and there is evidence to show that first-degree relatives of people who stutter have a higher risk of stuttering. This principle is true of some members of SCAC who come from families with several individuals that stutter.
    During the 2001 on line conference on stuttering hosted and moderated by Judy Kuster of the Stuttering Home Page a question was submitted from Cameroon by Joseph Lukong, one of the members of SCAC inquiring
why several members of his family are affected with stuttering. Dr. Denis T. Drayna, a human geneticist at the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. USA replied to this question and indicated that his institution could be
interested in undertaking a research study on families with stuttering in Cameroon
Dr. Drayna is Principal Investigator at his Institute on a project on genetic aspects of stuttering that has been going on in North America and some parts
of the world for quite some time now. The aim of this study is ascertain regions of the human genome that show genetic linkage to stuttering, indicating the location of genes that contribution to this condition. This is done by collecting DNA samples from affected and non affected members in a family where more than two person stutter by way of a 20cc of blood and a video recording of the speeches of the affected members.
        Following approval of the local Institutional Review Board IRB for the protection of human subjects at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Kumba, Southwest province of Cameroon, Dr. Drayna has made three visits to
Cameroon and collected blood and speech samples from the various members of Joseph Lukongís family.   This family contains about 106 individuals in 5 generations with 45 of them affected with stuttering. Dr. Drayna has also collected samples from 57 unrelated stutterers and 50 normal subjects who are all members of SCAC and is presently analysing these samples in his
laboratory. Dr. Drayna has stated that as soon as possible, future results of this study will be made available. SCAC has identified other large families here in
Cameroon having several individuals who stutter and Dr. Drayna hopes to continue his research project in the coming years.

 

PROJECTS UNDER EXECUTION

Identification of stuttering children schools in certain localities of Cameroon so as to know their number and see what can be done to help them This we do in collaboration with the competent government services of the Ministry of national Education here. We hope in future to organize a holiday camp for stuttering children and their parents and a series of seminars for teachers of stuttering children. We have not here that most of these teachers do not have the needed skill in dealing with stuttering children. The oral exams has been introduced in the First School Leaving Examination that is done aftzer a pupil mus have completed 7 years of primary Education in Cameroon and the officials of the Ministry of Education as well as the teachers have done to sensitize on how to handle children with stuttering.

Identification of families where more than 2 members stutter so as to link them up to researchers interested in the genetics of stuttering During the online conference, Dr. Denis Drayna of the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorder in Marryland anwered by question on the hereditary nature of stuttering in my family and has been collaborating with me to carry out a research project in our family to know the genetics of stuttering. He has sent us tape recorder to me and I have recorded the speech of some family members of mine and will send to him. He will also collect from us 2 spoonful of blood sample from my family members to use for this study. We have identified several families here where several members stutterers and we are ready to link them up to other scientists interested in the study of the genetics of stuttering.

Collection of books, video tapes and other materials for our library and information center, so that our members and the general public interested can learn many things on stuttering Now we have a six books in our library and SCAC members come and borrow them and read so as to understand certain things concerning stuttering.

Creation of a magazine or journal for our association called SCAC INFO( in both English and French the official languages of Cameroon) which will carry several articles and information on stutttering that can go to all corners of Cameroon. We also want our activities to be covered all over several media houses here to make the public to know about us and stuttering.

Collaborate with interested persons and organizations to organize seminars, workshops and training sessions for our members we have already contacted the starfish project in the UK, the mcguire program in the same country and we are waiting to hear from them concerning our request for them to run a seminar on the ways of controlling stuttering here or help train one of us to come back and teach the other members here. We have contacted the Netherlands stuttering Association and they will publish our letter in their Magazine and call for therapists who can volunteer to come here ad run seminars for us. Our letter has been published in the magazine of the stuttering association of Denmark FSD in their November and December issues of the said magazine. It is our hope that the general public there can understand our plea and help us. Since we lack the necessary know how and financial resources, we are calling on people both in and out of Cameroon to help us and it is our hope that they shall help us.

Creation of SCACís wards in many localities in Cameroon - a task that is not easy as Cameroon is vast and we lack the means to carry out this We use local churches and socio cultural groups to achieve this aim.

Acquisition of working equipment for our offices. We still donot have working equipment like computers, telephones, fax, photocopy machine and others and we are looking up for persons or associations that can help us to acquire these equipment. The pastor of one local church here has accepted and given us a hall in his mission for our meetings. Equally he has given us a second hand type writer machine that we use in our office to type mail for our local use.

These as some of the projects that we intend to carry out this year and may be the coming years.

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