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Sierra Leone News: As WACP successfully ends AGM, new president is elected.

The West Africa College of Physicians on Thursday 8th November 2018 ended a four-day Annual General Meeting with the election of the first Francophone president of the college, Evelyn Kwendu, from Cote, d’Ivoire. The meeting which was held at the Freetown International Conference Centre, lasted for four days, under the theme “Defining the role of the laboratory in the era of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the sub-region.” During the meeting, three doctors were awarded gold medal including a Sierra Leonean doctor, named Oluwumi Robin Coker.  Dr. Coker received a gold medal because of his outstanding contribution to the health sector. Some Sierra Leonean doctors were also admitted into the college as fellows. A lot of research papers were delivered at the AGM. Among these are:  A research paper on Ebola, HIV and Aids, Malaria etc.  Vaccines were displayed at the conference centre which is for emergency purposes. A Sierra Leonean doctor, Alhassan Sesay, a community health specialists and a consultant for the tuberculosis program in the country, said WACP is the fraternity that set the standards on how we practice medicine in the sub-region, and also the lead agency for the training of specialists in the sub-region. He said, of all the research work that were presented at the AGM, the one on Ebola is of top most interest when he thought of how the dreadful virus ravaged our country. Dr. Issa Idriss a Nigerian chemical pathologist said it is the medical doctor that is responsible for the evaluation of the metabolic disorder among patients.” I learnt a lot during the AGM, and am most delighted when a research paper was presented in respect of the Ebola virus regarding the way forward.” Dr Issa said. Some of the observations put forward by WACP includes: lack of adequate laboratory in the sub-region, inadequate support from member states, and lack of research work by member states. The recommendations were: To improve on their advocacy drive, and to strengthen the health system. There is a need for government to strengthen the health system in the sub-region. The newly elected president thanked all and sundry and the meeting was adjourned to next year. And the venue for next year’s meeting remains classified. This was the sixth time Sierra Leone hosted it. 204 fellows graduated this year, and 138 fellows were admitted into the college.

By Sulaiman Karim Sesay (Intern)

Friday November 09, 2018.

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