WP on Women & Family Medicine Africa Hosts Webinar to Celebrate WFDD2022

The WONCA Working Party for Women and Family Medicine (WWPWFM) Africa Region – referred to here as WWPWFMA – has supported and advocated for women family physicians in Africa since 2009.

WWPWFMA held a webinar on May 19th to celebrate World Family Doctors Day. Titled “The Uniqueness of Women Family Doctors: Always There to Care”, it featured three speakers who gave different perspectives on what makes women family doctors unique.  

The speakers were:
• Taiwo Soyinka Consultant Family Physician/Deputy Chairman Medical Advisory Committee, Clinical Services, University College Hospital (Nigeria)
• Aramide Oteju Consultant Family Physician, District Clinical Lead, Partners in Health (Sierra Leone) 
• Joy Mugambi Consultant Family Physician, VP East/Central/South Africa, Commonwealth Association (Kenya).

The webinar was moderated by Temi Ilori and opened by WONCA President, Dr Anna Stavdal, who spoke about the Working Party and congratulated the Africa region on organizing the webinar to mark the date. 

The WWPWFMA Lead, Ajike Oladoyin, then welcomed everyone to the webinar and spoke about the vision and objectives of the WWPWFM. The WWPWFM Chair, Mimi Doohan, and Amanda Barnard, a former Chair, gave goodwill messages, while the WONCA Africa Region Chair, Dan Abubakar, also joined the event.

The first speaker, Dr. Soyinka, kicked off the presentations by approaching the topic from an academic viewpoint, defining family medicine and talking about what makes women family doctors unique.  She also spoke of the different roles she has played as a doctor, an academic, an administrator and a home maker.

Dr. Oteju then gave a pictorial overview of her life as a woman family doctor in Sierra Leone. 

From being paid with a live chicken and travelling on impassable roads, to eating the harvest from her garden and seeing new projects come alive, she showed the good and the bad of her unique life as a woman family doctor.

Dr. Mugambi took us down memory lane and told the audience how she decided to become a family doctor. She showed the evolution of family medicine in Kenya over more than a decade, from being the only woman resident in her department to the current situation where there appear to be almost equal numbers of men and women. 

She also paid tribute to some of the doctors who mentored her, a few of whom – Amanda Barnard, Kate Anteyi and Prof. Gulnaz Mohamoud, the first woman Professor of Family Medicine in East Africa – were in attendance.

It was a well-attended and interesting event - at the peak there were 100 people logged in to the Zoom meeting, with several more watching it live streamed on Facebook. Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive. 

After the webinar, 40 new potential members joined the WhatsApp group, making it the most successful event to drive membership in the regional group so far. 

Ajike Oladoyin
Lead, WWPWFM Africa.