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UFAR's Vision and Our Mission

Mission
UFAR’s mission is to improve the health of the Congolese people by defeating targeted neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Vision
We picture the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) free of our five priority neglected tropical diseases that limit the health, and in turn, the education and economic success of its people.

What We Do

Through a well-integrated and evidence-based program, UFAR manages the distribution of preventive medicines to millions with the proven achievable goal of the eventual control and elimination of several targeted NTDs. Our primary responsibility is to ensure that the intended beneficiaries of the drugs "provided free by their manufacturers" receive them annually until the goal is met.

History

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UFAR is a non-profit organization dedicated to combating five priority Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The organization was founded by Dr. Daniel Shungu, a renowned medical researcher and humanitarian.
Dr. Daniel Shungu, a native of the DRC, witnessed the devastating impact of riverblindness or Onchocerciasis, a parasitic disease transmitted through the bites of blackflies, causing severe itching, skin lesions, and eventually leading to blindness if left untreated. Motivated by a deep sense of compassion and a desire to make a difference, Dr. Shungu established UFAR in 2005 to treat Onchocerciasis in the DRC. UFAR has since expanded to include 5 priority NTDs that affect many of the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable children and adults in the DRC: Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis (aka riverblindness), Schistosomiasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases, and Trachoma.
UFAR focuses on implementing comprehensive programs that include mass drug administration, community education, and healthcare infrastructure development. The organization collaborates with local communities, governments, and international partners to ensure the success of its initiatives.
Under Dr. Shungu's leadership, UFAR has made significant strides in the fighting NTDs in the DRC. The organization has conducted extensive research, developed innovative treatment strategies, and implemented sustainable solutions to combat the priority diseases.
UFAR continues to expand its reach and impact, working tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of people and communities in the DRC. Through its collaborative efforts and innovative approaches, UFAR and Dr. Daniel Shungu are making a profound difference in the lives of those affected by these debilitating diseases.

Founder and CEO

Dr. Daniel L. Shungu
Founder and CEO
Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Meet UFAR's Founder/CEO: Dr. Daniel Shungu
Dr. Daniel Shungu is the Founder and CEO of UFAR. Upon his retirement from Merck & Co., he felt called to use his expertise in health and medical research to give back to his native country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A serendipitous meeting with the DRC Minister of Health at the time led to a field trip deep into a highly onchocerciasis-endemic region. There, Daniel experienced firsthand the physical and mental miseries caused by the disease in individuals as well as the long-term ravaging implications on the family, the community, and the nation.

For Daniel, the most touching event was the sight of young children being forced to become caregivers, leading their blind adult relatives all day, every day: this is the scene depicted in UFAR’s logo. The disturbing and heart-wrenching conclusion from such a scene is that these children have their childhood and schooling robbed from them and they are thus doomed to poverty and illiteracy. By assuming some of the daily chores previously carried out by the blind adults along creeks and rivers infested with parasite-carrying blackflies, the children are also at higher risk of developing Riverblindness. They may be destined for blindness and misery.

Shortly after his trip to the DRC, Daniel's youngest son received a full scholarship to attend Duke University. Combining his newly-available savings with the memory of what he had witnessed in the DRC facilitated Daniel's decision to establish UFAR in 2004. Undoubtedly a Divine Providence.

In recognition of his various contributions, Daniel is the recipient of the Rotary Foundation's Paul Harris Fellow Award, the ENCORE Organization's Purpose Prize Fellow Award, Warren Wilson College's Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Merck & Co.'s Special Management Award.
Board of Trustees
Our Board of Trustees is diverse, committed to helping the less fortunate, and willing to volunteer time and resources to achieve our goal.
Ms. Rosemary Georgett
Board Trustee & Chair
HR/OD, Change Management and Coaching
Dr. Anne-Marie Gardner
Board Trustee
International Politics
Picture-of-Dr.-Roberta-Fiske-Rusciano
Dr. Robin Fiske-Rusciano
Board Trustee & Secretary
Anthropology, Global Studies - Rider University
Mr. Hadley Stewart
Board Trustee
Journalism and Healthcare Professional
Mr. Jean-Paul Valensi
Board Trustee
BioPharmaceutical / Life Sciences Industry specializing in Business Insights / Analysis | Management Consulting
Dr. Adam C. Zong
Board Trustee
PhD, Corporate Strategy and Development
Dr. Willy L. Mafuta
Board Trustee
Ph.D; Th.D, Senior Pastor Hopewell United Methodist Church
Dr. Dein M. Shapiro
Board Trustee
Family Practice and Medical Acupuncture
Former Board Trustees 2022
Ms. Heidi Flynn
Former Board Trustee and Treasurer
Dr. Reginald Cann
Former Board Trustee
Synthetic Chemist & Project Management
Dr. Connie Kartoz
Board Trustee
The College of New Jersey, Associate Professor Nursing
Staff
Based in DRC
Dr. Arthur Nondo Shamba
Country Representative, Public Health Specialist
Dr. Vincent Kamwasha Katonga
Senior Medical M&E Officer, Public Health Specialist
Dr. Yvette Seluwa Zakuani
Medical Program Officer, Public Health Specialist
Mrs Chantal Nzeketa
Office Administrator & Logistician
Dr. Angele Kahambu
Medical Program Officer/Consultant
Mr. Valentine Biakasasa Ilunga
Finance Manager, MA Applied Information Technology
Mr. Bijoux Olela Lolonga
Assistant Finance Manager, MA Economics
Dr. Cynthia Djamba
Medical Program Officer/Intern
Mr. Alexis Lema Mafula
Driver
Mr. Tonton Totokani
Accountant
Awards
Award for UFAR Partner
On November 30th 2019, Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times about the great work that END Fund is doing to eradicate neglected tropical diseases. UFAR is proud to be the implementing partner for END Fund in the DRC and congratulate our partner for receiving this accolade. Together, END Fund, UFAR, our other partners, and you are working to help eliminate the scourge of neglected tropical diseases in the DRC. Read the article here.

Award from Rotary Chapter
At a 2017 meeting the North and South Brunswick New Jersey Rotary Club presented this award to UFAR for its work toward eliminating Riverblindness in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We greatly appreciate their support and humbly accept this recognition.

UFAR Award May 2017
Nobel Prize
Our congratulations to William C. Campbell for winning a share of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for the development of Ivermectin - the drug UFAR uses to fight Riverblindness.
Read an interview with Dr Campbell here.

UFAR

Your generous gift, no matter how large or small, will be used for administering drugs to over 25 million people in thousands of villages as well as purchasing equipment such as chainsaws, canoes and motorbikes necessary to reach remote villages.
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P.O.Box 218
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
USA
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