Working Party on Women and Family Medicine meet in Africa

The WONCA Working Party on Women and Family medicine (WWPWFM) is active in the WONCA Africa region and has participated and organized preconference meetings, and workshops since 2009. WWPWFM Africa region also provide leadership and mentorship in the region through her members who are on the executive board of the WONCA Africa Region.

For the 2018-2020 biennium, WWPWFM Africa region has an active listserv with more than 100 members, who promotes WWPWFM core values at the local level; and it has established sub-regional mentoring programs for young women family doctors. At the recent WONCA Africa region conference, WWPWFM Africa region prominently contributed to the success of the conference through it’s preconference meeting, setting the pace in mentoring at the ‘Fire Place’ meeting and various WWPWFM track workshop. In addition, the second Dr Atai memorial scholarship award was given to two recipients during the conference. Dr Elizabeth Reji leads the WWPWFM Africa region with her country coordinators.

WONCA Africa Region Conference: June 6-8, 2019

Preconference meeting was held on June 5, 2019. There were 30 participants including male participants, whose goal was to get more insights to WWPWFM activities. Key speakers included Dr Elizabeth Reji, Profs. Amanda Howe (Immediate Past-President, WONCA World), and Shabir Moosa, (President, WONCA Africa). Elizabeth gave an overview of WWPWFM and Amanda Howe facilitated the resilience workshop and presented findings of the research. Country representatives were elected for 2019-2021 biennium. WONCA President, Donald Li gave the closing remarks.
Outputs: Each region was to work on the outcomes of the resilience workshop, and we should work in each country to show the effect of working women in all sphere of leadership.

Elected country representatives

Kenya: Dr Joy Mugambi
Malawi: Dr Martha Markwero and Dr Jessie Mbamba
Nigeria: Dr Olusola Oluwaseun and Dr Moyosore Makinde
Sierra Leone: Dr Melvina Thompson and Dr Oteju Aramide
South Africa: Dr Elizabeth Reji
Zambia: Dr Mpundu Makasa
Uganda: Dr Jane Namatovu and Dr Lilian Mukisa

Dr Omoruto Atai’s award ceremony: June 6, 2019

The second Atai’s scholarship was awarded to Dr Jessie Mbamba and Dr Moyosore Makinde. Donald Li (WONCA President), Amanda Howe (Immediate Past WONCA President, Shabir Moosa (WONCA Africa President), Jane Namatovu (Chair, HOC), Elizabeth Reji (WWPWFM Africa Lead) and two daughters of Dr Atai presented the awards.  photo above right

Inaugural Women’s café: WWPWFM Africa region had its first pacesetting women’s café (Fireplace Wisdom) in the attic of the University auditorium. Thanks to Jane, Innocent, Joy and Olusola for preparing this venue to stimulate an African Traditional room. There were over 40 participants including two colleagues from Netherland, Donald Li, Amanda Howe, Atai’s daughters and Henry Lawson. The theme of the fireplace was mentorship: the different roles of a woman as a career person.

Donald Li and Amanda Howe opened the Fireplace event by cutting a ribbon and Donald gave a motivational message. All the women were dressed in African Ankara during this function. The young women doctors were inquisitive and wanted to learn. They asked a lot of questions and the older women doctors provided answers by sharing the stories of their journey. Mentor/Mentee relationships were established among many participants. The consensus was to continue the Fireplace event at all preconference meetings.

The certificates for Dr Atai’s award was also presented during this event.

Workshops and Oral presentations:

WWPWFM women’s track included three workshops: Emergency Workshop had 15 participants and they had two breakaway skill sessions and about 50 survey filled. The outcome of the survey is still to be analysed. Challenge was no support from IT team and so the computer did not work.

Leadership workshop had 10 participants and the outcome was to identify ways in which we could mentor young WONCA women into leadership positions and research workshop had six participants. We were able to assist two young doctors to develop their research questions and understand which method to use. All the workshops had an awesome outcome. The two oral presentations had 15-20 participants, and all went well. She received very useful feedbacks from these presentations.

Appreciation: WWPWFM Africa region appreciates WONCA Africa executives and conference organizers/ Chair HOC (Jane N) for their immense support.
Written by Dr Elizabeth Reji, WWPWFM Africa lead