Dr. Emmanuel P. Amegashie has been appointed chairman of Family Medicine at the West African College of Physicians’ (WACP) 41st Congress in Dakar, Senegal recently.
The congress, attended by over 400 physicians from across the sub-region, deliberated on the theme: ‘The challenges of the double burden of health in Africa.’ Sub-themes included: ‘The High Burden of Infectious Diseases; Non Communicable Diseases; Health Financing in Africa; Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases.’
Participants were drawn from 15 West African countries (ECOWAS) and among several papers presented was an address by the WACP president , Dr. Ifeoma Egbuonu.
The WACP, established in 1976, is an association of medical specialists in the sub-region with headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. The latest countries to be admitted into WACP are Mali, Guinea, Togo, Burkina Faso and Guinea Bissau. Cape Verde remains the only West African country yet to become a member.
Dr. Amegashie told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday that the 41st Congress was the largest gathering of West African family physicians. “We intend to get all family doctors in their various specialties involved so that they can be empowered by the WACP,” he said.
Dr. Amegashie is a family medicine practitioner and the proprietor of The Amegashie Clinic located near Double Bridge on Somalia Drive in Monrovia. The clinic is scheduled to relocate to downtown Monrovia.
Family doctors need to be monitored to provide the best quality services to patients, said Dr. Amegashie. “Our concern is to tackle disease surveillance because of the weakness that the Ebola epidemic exposed in our health sector,” he added.
He revealed that efforts are underway to construct an office building for the WACP. He said the cost of the construction will be announced at the appropriate time.
“The structure will have investigation, research, disease surveillance and conference centers as well as a secretariat,” said Dr. Amegashie who was also appointed as chairman of the steering committee of WACP’s Fund Raising and Public Relations Committee set up in Dakar.
Other members on that committee are Dr. Ali Gombe Abubakar, of the Department of Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, Nigeria; Dr. Mohammadou Kabir Cham, registrar at the Medical Council & Dental Council of The Gambia; and Dr. Akin-Moses of the Department of Family Medicine, National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria.
The rest are Dr. Mamdou Mountalla Ka of the University of Thiie Post-Graduate School of Senegal and Dr. Abou Sy, director of Senegal’s University Cheik Anita Diop.
Dr. Amegashie said he plans to expand the membership by inviting two family doctors each from all the member countries to ensure an inclusive administration to achieve the the objective for which the committee was set up. He said he will encourage the establishment of regional centers in each member country.
The congress in Dakar was attended by general practitioners, specialists and all sectors of the healthcare system. In addition to exchanging views on current medical issues, participants pledged to promote continuing medical education as the main tool of health integration in the West African sub-region.