Women and Parkinson's
Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or thinking you might have symptoms will no doubt come as a shock. Women have a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease than men, but can still develop the condition.READ MORE
Parkinson's Africa was officially registered as a charitable organisation in 2020, but its history started long before that. In 2016, founder, Omotola Thomas, was diagnosed with Young-onset Parkinson's disease at the age of 35. In a blogpost published on the World Parkinson's Coalition's website, Omotola (who was born and raised in Nigeria but now living in the United Kingdom) penned an open letter to fellow Africans affected by Parkinson's.
Like the desperate calls of a lone lion in enemy territory, the letter was a cry-out for my pride members. Where were they? Why were they so silent? How had I, young Nigerian female become the recipient of this supposedly old white male’s disease? More importantly, why did it seem like I was fighting it alone? I needed someone to tell me what to do with the shame I was feeling having “contracted” this shaking disease; someone to explain how to alleviate the pain of losing the ability to manage both mine and my daughter’s afro-kinky hair; someone who had traversed this path before me and could point me towards relevant information pertaining to “Parkinson’s disease in Africa”.
"Parkinson's disease in Africa" - – those were the words I eventually typed into Google’s search bar but to my utter dismay, Google’s “top result” at the time read: although Parkinson’s disease occurs worldwide, little is known about PD in Africa. This did not sit well with me. Google (and the rest of the world) should know more about Parkinson’s in Africa. Much more, I thought to myself. Out of that realization came the birth of an idea – Parkinson’s Africa.
- Omotola Thomas (Founder, Parkinson's Africa)
Parkinson's Africa was able to hire two full-time staff members in Africa and a part-time CEO in the UK. This was made possible by a generous legacy funder.
Omotola Thomas, accompanied by a large number of Parkinson's disease ambassadors, has travelled to a number of African nations to raise awareness about the disease.
Parkinson's Africa became a registered charity.
Parkinson's Africa collaborated with IPDGC-Africa to create high-quality health literacy booklets about Parkinson's disease that were translated into 11 African languages sponsored by UCL and Grand Challenges.
Parkinson's Africa was officially registered as a charitable organisation.
In a blogpost published on the World Parkinson's Coalition's website, Omotola (who was born and raised in Nigeria but now living in the United Kingdom) penned an open letter to fellow Africans affected by Parkinson's.