Online Conference,Demystifying Public Health Conditions17 June 2020 

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Programme for Online Conference, Lancaster University:

Public Health and ‘Witchcraft’ Beliefs

10am-2pm GMT, 17 June 2020

Misconceptions behind the causes of public health conditions such as dementia, mental health and autism, as well as disabilities including albinism, are often fuelled by beliefs in ‘witchcraft’.

Such misconceptions are a key factor leading women, children, older persons and those with non-normative bodies to suffer wide-ranging human rights violations.

However, to date, there has been no coordinated response to support front-line practitioners, organizations and policy makers working in this field.

This online conference will bring together key stakeholders to learn about the issues and explore initiatives to demystify public health conditions believed to be caused by ‘witchcraft’.

Presenters include:

  • Ikponwosa Ero, UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by person with albinism
  • Berrie Holtzhausen, Alzheimers Dementia Namibia
  • Dr Olatunde Ayinde, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Sarah Snow, Medical Assistance Sierra Leone
  • Mary Penn-Timity, Sierra Leone Autistic Society
  • Gary Foxcroft, Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN)

To register, please email 

The conference is co-organized by the Disability and Inclusion Africa Network, the Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN) and the UN Independent Expert on Albinism.

It is funded by a grant from the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund.