January 2012

A monthly means to inform and inspire our TEAM

January 2012
Vol. 3, No. 1

Things Not Built in a Day

Termite Hills

Rome, and many lesser things, were not built in a day. No doubt it took many centuries to build Rome. Building a city begins with the first brick. A journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step. The termites who built the castle like mound seen in the photo began with their first mouthfuls of mud, and labored over many months to add underground air circulation channels and high chimneys.

The first Rome builders did not know that their efforts would grow into a great city. Most brickpiles in fact do not. Even termites individually, who we assume are rather mindless creatures working by instinct, presumably do not know the corporate results to be expected. They labor faithfully, blindly, to do the task in front of them.

I remember a termite effort that took place in the middle of a bicycle path near my house. Every morning, fresh small mounds would be visible in the path, the result of thousands of termites’ efforts during the night. During the day, passing tires would flatten and destroy all of the progress. But by the next morning, new mounds would again appear. Over time, the mounds that were located more to the side and weren’t flattened every day, began to grow. Thus, gradually, the whole mound, by what can be labeled trial and error, shifted off to the side, where the efforts were bearing fruit.

The EMBLEM teams are working by plan and by intellect to build something that can’t be built in a day. On a continent where many people are forced to live hand to mouth in a daily survival mode, EMBLEM brings hope of change and improvement through medical research that addresses Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a cancer that affects mostly children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Esther Kawira, Editor

EMBLEM Tanzania

Final laboratory renovation was completed and the keys were handed to EMBLEM staff. The freezer, hood, and centrifuge were installed, along with QBC machine and microscope. Also, installation of telephone and internet connections in the EMBLEM office, installation of datafax machine, and training of EMBLEM staff on datafax procedures, are being done in preparation for enrolling the first cases in February.


  • Kuluva Datafax training participants and Trainers

    Kuluva Datafax training participants and Trainers
    Front row (L to R) Charles Onek (EMBLEM Lacor),
    Ismail Dragon(EMBLEM Kuluva), Jenny Draru (Kuluva Hosp),
    Mark Ssennono (IDI) and Isaack Otim (EMBLEM Lacor).
    Back row Herry Dhudha (EMBLEM TZ) and Perry Okoto – IDI

  • Ismail Dragon, sending in a test Datafax after the
training and set up

    Ismail Dragon, sending in a test Datafax after the
    training and set up

Datafax training and setup was conducted at Kuluva Hospital, EMBLEM Uganda’s second site, between the 4th and 6th of January, 2012. The site is now ready to send questionnaires. The training was conducted by staff from Infections Diseases Institute (IDI), who also configured internet connectivity to the Datafax machine that they had brought. A total of five people were trained, four EMBLEM staff and one Kuluva hospital staff.

Two new cases have been enrolled since the start of 2012, making the total number of enrolled cases 69 (21 female and 48 male).


  • PI thanking Homabay staff for hosting

    PI thanking Homabay staff for hosting
    EMBLEM Lab and office

  • Group photo after launching EMBLEM at Homabay.

    Group photo after launching EMBLEM at Homabay.

The EMBLEM Kenya team is working on the training materials, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and Ethics Training. Training for EMBLEM and Hospital staff has been scheduled for the 14th to the 16th of January, 2012 to take place at the HomaBay District Hospital.

Freezer monitoring has been ongoing and the freezer is working well.

To date, 18 cases have been spotted and 3 were eligible for enrollment. The team will send some members to Mwanza, Tanzania for a two day Datafax training and a one day joint SOP training together with the Tanzanian team.

EMBLEM Newsletter is a monthly on-line publication based on contributions of the EMBLEM Study staff.
Editor: Dr. Esther Kawira
Reporters: EMBLEM Uganda – Herry Dhudha; EMBLEM Kenya – Pam Akinyi Were; EMBLEM Tanzania – Josiah Magatti