South Asia region president visits Maldives

Photo: (l to r) Dr Pratap Prasad; Director General Of Health Dr Sheeza Ali; Dr Garth Manning; Dr Ali Shareef.

Dr Garth Manning and I, were invited to visit Maldives from 20th to 22nd August 2016 by Dr Ali Shareef, the Maldives’ first Direct Member of WONCA and also its first GP trainee. Dr Shareef is a keen enthusiast in building the role of General Practice/Family Medicine in Maldives. Maldives is a country made of more than 3000 beautiful islands and in need of primary health care. In regards to this, meetings were fixed with Honorary State Health Minister Dr Habib, and Director General of Health Services Dr Sheeza Ali, with the objective of strengthening the role of General Practice/Family Medicine in primary health care of Maldives. The meeting was a successful one with both Director General of Health agreeing to make General Practice/Family Medicine a priority in health services and agenda in government of Maldives. Our final meeting was with representatives of the Maldives Medical Association who were also very supportive of family medicine development.

Photo: Dr Garth Manning; Rt Hon state Minister of Health, Dr Mohmad Habeeb; Dr Pratap Prasad.

All were agreed that the Maldives, spread out over many islands and atolls, would benefit from generalist physicians properly trained for a family medicine and emergency medicine role, very much as currently exists in Nepal and in more rural parts of Pakistan. Further internal discussions will now take place to try to establish training programmes and linkages to implement this family medicine model, and we look forward to a future collaborative of family doctors in Maldives eventually joining the WONCA family.

The visit went well, all thanks to Honorary State Health Minister Dr Habib, DrSheeza and Dr Shareef.

Pratap Prasad, South Asia region President