Meeting with WHO EMRO Regional Director

Photo: from Rt Dr Hatem Alhandari WHO EMRO Office Cairo, Dr Oraib Alsmadi WONCA EMR treasurer, Dr Mohamed Rasoul Tarawneh JSFM President, H E Dr AHMAD Almandari WHO EMRO RD, Dr Mohammed Tarawneh WONCA EMR president, Dr Crestina Profili WHO EMRO Jordan Representative, MS Ghada Kayyaly WHO EMRO Jordan Office

Date: 14 July 2018

WHO EMRO Regional Director, His Excellency Dr Ahmad Almandari visited Jordan recently. During his short stay, a WONCA East Mediterranean region (EMR) delegation comprised of Dr Mohammed Tarawneh, WONCA EMR president; Dr Mohamed Rasoul Tarawneh, Jordanian Society of Family Medicine president; and Dr Oraib Alsmadi, WONCA EMR treasurer; (all from Jordan) were able to arrange a meeting with the WHO EMRO delegation comprised of Dr Ahmad Almandari WHO EMRO regional director; Dr Crestina Profili, WHO EMRO Jordan representative, Dr Hatem Alhadari, WHO EMRO office Cairo, and Ms Ghada Keylany, WHO EMRO Jordan office.

The meeting started by introducing the delegates, and congratulating his Excellency, the regional director on his new position, and on behalf of Prof Amanda Howe WONCA president , Dr Donald Li WONCA president elect and Dr Garth Manning WONCA CEO.

Dr Mohammed Tarawneh, WONCA EMR president, mentioned that WONCA and WHO had very good relationships through many years and a unique relationship in our region. The previous collaboration since 2013 and the main areas of collaboration were mentioned, such as strengthening health systems in the EMRO countries by focusing on PHC as the patient gate keeper to the health system, and NCDs. We emphasised continuing the collaboration especially technical activities that WONCA can provide to EMRO populations. Dr Alsmadi added other areas of collaborations at national and regional levels such as the short term path to increase the capacity of GPs, and strengthening training programs in the region to produce family physicians, in order to cope with the urgent need of this specialty as a back bone of the PHC. Dr Rasoul added the values of family doctors as the best to tackle NCDs in PHC, and to achieve UHC and the SDGS as well. The book that has been developed in collaboration was mentioned too as he was the main author for Oman country chapter.

Dr Almandari showed his enthusiastic and strong commitment to continue collaboration and to support the spread of the specialty in the EMRO countries. Also he emphasised the leadership of family doctors in PHC sittings and even in hospitals. He mentioned his country experience where the family doctors were health system leaders, the last World Family Doctor Day slogan emphasized that family doctors are the best to lead PHC system worldwide, and he promises for further meetings which will be focusing on strengthening the specialty. He said “Family Medicine is my passion” and as a family physician he will be a supporter and this will be on the top of his agenda. We agreed to conduct a follow up meeting on the near future in EMRO office to discuss in more details with the regional office team.

We invited him to attend WONCA EMR conferences in 2019 and 2020, and he agreed also he was impressed by the WHO sessions which we included in the scientific programs of previous EMR conferences.

Mohammed Tarawneh
WONCA EMR president