FAMSA hosts over 600 students, healthcare professionals to health confab Press "Enter" to skip to content

FAMSA hosts over 600 students, healthcare professionals to health confab in Ibadan

The Federation of African Medical Students Association General Assembly, the largest gathering of medical students and professionals anywhere in the world, hosted their 32nd General assembly from the 18th-24th of November at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. This year’s assembly also coincided with their 50th anniversary and to celebrate, they hosted a week long health conference themed ‘Repositioning healthcare in Africa for Sustainable Development.’ Building on the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations and other development partners in 2015 adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to serve as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. With SDG 3 specific to health, the FAMSA General Assembly was a proposed solution that brought together young vibrant minds as well as professionals and relevant stakeholders in both public and private sectors from across Africa to discuss ideas and initiate steps towards the goal. The conference kicked off with an opening address by Prof. Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa, the Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, which was followed by a welcome address by Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun (Patron and Chair Advisory board). To give the keynote address was a representative of the Regional Director for Africa WHO, Dr. Clement Lugala, (officer in-charge WHO Nigeria) as well as a video message from Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus (Director-General of the World Health Organisation). Over the 5-day conference, various impactful plenary sessions, workshops, scientific presentations, hackathons, training sessions, exhibitions were featured. Topics including Infectious diseases in Africa: Are we really winning? The Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs): Taking a quantum leap, Mental Health: Breaking the silence, Maternal and Child Health in Africa: The Wages of Disconnect, Medical Education in Africa: Curriculum, research and Mentorship, Social Determinants of Health: Connecting the Dots were discussed by seasoned professionals such as Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, (Director Health Workforce Education & Development, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation), Dr. Michael Kivwanga, (Global Execution Lead, Mental Health and Special, Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health) Adam Thompson (Co-founder of eHealth Systems, Africa) and Dr. Stephen Obaro (Director Of International Paediatric Research Programme, University of Nebraska Medical Centre, USA) to name a few. Various workshops were also scheduled to discuss key issues like the Burden of Non Communicable Diseases and the Younger Generation; Taking a quantum leap (The Wellbeing Initiative), Mental Health and the Health Care Student (Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI)), The Reso-Hackathon Challenge by the Contents Team as well as Emergency Obstetric and New born Care/Wash by The Wellbeing Foundation Africa. Of the many highlights of the conference was the video address from Dr. Paulin Basinga, (Nigerian Country Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and the announcement of the Johnson and Johnson African Innovation Challenge 2.0; which offers potential winners up to US$50,000 in financial support and resources to help bring their ideas to market. This announcement was made by Dr. Ibraheem Badejo, Senior Director, New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston. With over 600 attendees spanned across students, healthcare professionals, NGOs, Policymakers, Researchers and Industry experts from 11 countries, the just concluded FAMSA General Assembly inspired all participants to take charge and play active roles in structuring the future of healthcare in Africa for sustainable development. Mutiat Alli, Lagos

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