Humanitarian expert to service devastated Central Africa 

Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies, Dan Baschiera will journey to Niger to tackle the growing meningitis epidemic.

A leading Northern Territory humanitarian expert is set to be deployed to meningitis ravaged Niger in Central Africa to lead a critical health care campaign for Medicine Sans Frontier.

Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies with Charles Darwin University, Dan Baschiera will leave Darwin Wednesday. He will head to Niger later this week where he will lead a new team of five logisticians in running a large meningitis inoculation campaign in the remote districts of Bobeye and Dosso.

Initially briefed for deployment into earthquake stricken Haiti, Mr Baschiera said that he and his team would most likely replace the current team in Niger who, with their experience, were better positioned to tackle the danger of cholera in Haiti.

The region won’t come as a surprise for Mr Baschiera, who was born and raised in Tanzania and has extensive experience in the region.

“The extensive flooding in Central Africa has unfortunately pushed meningitis to epidemic proportions in Niger,” he said.

“The need for help is quite real and I’d like to commend the university executive for enabling me to undertake this deployment and in turn reaffirming CDU’s commitment to the humanitarian field.”

In a voluntary capacity, he has worked as a trainer/logistician/manager for Medicins Sans Frontieres both in France and in Sierra Leone where he managed 120 staff in a paediatric hospital in the war-torn diamond fields of remote Africa.

Coordinated by Medicins Sans Frontieres, Mr Bascheria will remain in the region until January 2011.