Tuesday, 14 January 2014

African Regional Meeting


Uganda was recently named as the official host of the tenth African Regional Meeting of the international federation of medical students associations in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. All countries voted in favour of Uganda, a sign of trust and support to the young NMO.  Unlike our colleagues in Kenya and Tanzania that had hosted such meetings before, the ARM will be first and the biggest event ever hosted by Ugandan medical students.

To Uganda, the 10th African Regional Meeting is a sign of continuous engagement, commitment and solidarity with the IFMSA. It is a great leap forward for Ugandan medical students into the much desired future of an association with well trained, passionate and motivated medical students committed to creating positive change in their community. Above all, it is an opportunity for us to share our diverse Ugandan culture, and the beauty of our nation with the rest of the world.

The African Regional Meeting will be held under the theme Human resource for health: A foundation to universal health coverage. The proposed date for this meeting will be 18th-23rd of December 2014 at the Commonwealth resort Munyonyo. The pre meeting steams and post meeting tours will be held from 14th-18th and 23rd -25th of December 2014 respectively.

Since the proclamation of the year 2005-2015 the decade on human resource for health, a lot of efforts have been made to improve the human resource crisis. As were near the end of the decade, most African countries still experience a severe shortage of health works. Sub-Saharan Africa with 11% of the world’s population and 24% of the global burden of disease; the region has only 3% of the world’s health workers commanding less than 1% of world health expenditure. This shortage has resulted into a lack of access to essential health services: prevention, information, drug distribution, emergencies, clinical care and life-saving interventions such as childhood immunization, safe pregnancy and delivery services for mothers and access to treatment for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. 

We the future physicians believe that hosting this meeting under the above theme will help raise awareness about the human resource for health crisis in Africa. Furthermore, this meeting will reaffirm the some of the commitment made by governments and other stakeholders about the human resource inadequacy in Africa. The meeting will also have several sub themes like; the medical brain drain, gender imbalance in the health sector, deficiencies in distribution and performance, i-health, training and scaling up of health workers.

Preparations to host the ARM started last year even before we met in Addis Ababa. The executive board of FUMSA is working day and night to make the initial preparations ready before the national organising committee can take up. The national organising committee alongside the international organising committee will begin their work at the end of this month such that we have a successful meeting.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Kampala come 14th December 2014.