AFRICAN REGIONAL COMMITTEE
CURRENT NEWS AND REPORT 2007
The IBE Africa region has a total of 18 full chapter members; these include Namibia, Swaziland and Nigeria who were recently ratified as Full Members and were presented with their Certificates of Membership, by the President Susanne Lund and Secretary General Eric Hargi, at the IBE General Assembly held during the 27th International epilepsy congress in Singapore in July.
There was a disappointing attendence at the congress by African regional members; of the 18 Full Member associations, only four countries were represented. These were Ethiopia, Gambia, Nigeria and Zambia. The poor attendance was attributed to lack of resources by most of the members.
During the congress the African delegates held a meeting on 10th July 2007. Also in attendance were delegates from chapters of the International League against Epilepsy and other delegates, not from the African region, who were present as observors.
The following notes detail the meeting.
Dr. Zenebe, Chair – African Regional Executive Committee (Ethiopia)
Mr. Anthony M. Zimba, Secretary – African Regional Executive Committee (Zambia)
Dr. Mustaphe Adekude, Neurologist (Nigeria)
Ms. Tanya Spensley, Patron Gambia Epilepsy Association
Dr. Najib Kissani, Neurologist (Morocco)
Ms. Leocardia Miti, Epilepsy Association of Zambia
Dr. Alaa Elsharkawy, Neurosurgeon (Egypt)
Dr. Misuel Mateus, Neurologist and Neurophysiologist (Angola)
Dr. David Basangwa, Psychiatrist (Uganda)
Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Senior Registrar in Neurology (Nigeria)
- Membership Enlargement
- Regional Sub-committees
- Regional Collaboration
- Website design
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Zenebe, Chair of the IBE African Regional Executive Committee, who is also Vice President Africa on the IBE International Executive Committee.
The Chair welcomed all who attended the meeting and invited those present to introduce themselves and briefly explain the role they played in their respective countries.
- Everyone was encouraged to promote membership enlargement.
- Those without associations where encouraged to mobilize others and to form local associations.
- The need to sensitize other medical professionals to join local associations and to take advantage of their expertise was noted.
- Guidelines to be sent upon request to all who intend forming lay epilepsy associations.
- All agreed that it was a good idea to divide Africa into sub-regions for easy communication.
- Focal persons to be appointed by the Africa region committee to facilitate easy communication among the Africa region members.
- Sub-regions to organize meetings and conferences.
- The African Regional Committee to organize regional conferences to bring all the sub-regions together.
All members were encouraged to collaborate with other countries in order to use their expertise. Some countries in Africa are privileged with a good number of Medical experts who could be of help to other countries through collaboration.
The Chair requested Dr. Najib and Dr. Mateus from Angola to work with Noeline de Goede on the idea of a website. The Chair also encouraged all members to submit items for the website to the committee.
Any Other Business
- The meeting observed that people from other continents gave presentations about African problems and yet did not seem to be expert on issues relating to Africa. It was resolved that efforts should me made to encourage presentations on issues relating to Africa to be made by people from African member associations.
- A call was made to Senegal Epilepsy Association (not represented at the meeting), which has a good number of qualified neurologists, to help Gambia Epilepsy Association in Epilepsy training.
- Contact should be made with the Ghana Epilepsy Association which has been quiet for a long time.
- In closing the Chairman encouraged every Full Member in Africa to work hard and to establish good communication between associations – something which is a problem at the present time.