Introduction to Pharmacovigilance and Communication in Public Health

Introduction to Pharmacovigilance and Communication

in Public Health

25th – 26th July 2013 | Accra, Ghana

WHO Collaborating Centre, Accra, Ghana and the Uppsala Monitoring Centre for Africa are pleased to present to you details of our course titled Introduction to Pharmacovigilance and Communication in Public Health. The course gives an in-depth understanding of the basic principles of pharmacovigilance including the history of pharmacovigilance and drug safety, the WHO Medicines Safety Program and the importance of the role of pharmacovigilance in the drug development process. The course discusses the types and sources of data used in pharmacovigilance and communication as an important tool for the dissemination of healthcare information.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants would be able to :

· Understand the basic concepts of pharmacovigilance

· Define key terms used in pharmacovigilance

· Identify pharmacovigilance methods applicable for data collection for safety monitoring and national regulatory decision-making

· Identify key stakeholders and understand how to work with them

· Understand what effective communication is

· Acquire skills for effective communication

· Identify relevant methods for effective communication.

Programme features include:

· There will be a session on career opportunities for students who attend this training course

· Reporting an Adverse Drug Reaction

· Effective skills in Communication

· The relevance of pharmacovigilance in public health

· Relevance of pharmacovigilance in medicine, pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry and delivery of patient care

Registration fees: The registration fee includes course materials, certificate of participation, refreshments and lunch

Deadline for registration is 15th July, 2013.

Send an email to to reserve your place.

For more information about WHO-CC training programs and how to register for this training course,

please visit us at

Read More

The very first edition of the Italian SCORA X- CHANGE

We are very happy to announce you the opening for applications of our very first edition of the
Italian SCORA X- CHANGE!!!

Our SCORA X CHANGE will be from 5th-31st August, 2013 in Palermo and Catania, Sicily.
It will focus on STD and Maternal-Child health it will be open for 5 participants, from all NMOs, without any restriction of year in medical school!

To apply you have to send the following by email before May 31st to and
• Curriculum Vitae, where all the activities related to SCORA and the SCORA X-CHANGE should be reported.
•Motivation Letter, where the reasons which lead you to take part to the program should be reported.
• Knowledge of English language certifications (if present) such as TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, Trinity etc etc.

We will send you back an anonymous identification number, and we’ll draw up a list of participants before June the 10th, we will then contact you and you have…and if you confirm then you’ll have to prepare for the most amazing SCORA experience ever!!!

Want to know more about the agenda, a description of Social Program, the Project Proposal and all the others information you might need?… go to —>>><Deadline for Registration: 31st May 2013
Fee: 300 EUR, about 390dollar(accommodation, meals, social program and transportation during stay and between Palermo and Catania are included)

If you need any other info that you don’t find on the website please feel free to contact me at this email address!
Please spread the word in your NMO. Ciao!

Read More


The World Health Day is marked annually on the 7th of April for the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for the World Health Day that brings to the fore a priority area of public health concern in the world.
The theme for the 2013 World Health Day is HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
According to WHO statistics, 40% of adults aged 25 and over had raised blood pressure. Hypertension, the silent killer contributes hugely to the burden of heart diseases, cardiovascular accidents, kidney failure and premature death and disability.
The overall goal of the World Health Day 2013 is to reduce heart attacks and strokes.
The Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA) Headquarters’ Board celebrates this important day yearly. With a view to the upliftment of health in Africa, FAMSA Headquarters’ Board joined the rest of the world to celebrate this day by organizing a medical outreach to Akintayo Awanibaaku Community, Beere, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on Saturday 6th of April, 2013.

After much preparation, the event kicked off at about 10am with an opening prayer by a member of the community. The special guests were introduced who were Dr O.S Arulogun, Consultant Physician of the Department of Health Promotion and Education; Dr Adeniyi Consultant Physiotherapist and Sub Dean, Faculty of Clinical Science and the Magaji of the community Chief Kazeem Akintayo. The Magaji gave an introductory address. A brief talk on FAMSA was given by the Master of Ceremony Mr Ajibola.
The guest speaker Dr. O.S Arulogun delivered a rich health talk in the native language of the community, Yoruba. It centred on the theme High Blood Pressure which translates to ‘Ifunpa Giga’ in Yoruba. She spoke on the what high blood pressure is, its risk factors, symptoms, lifestyle modifications that can be adapted to for its prevention, complications and why it is very important for individuals to always have their blood pressures monitored. Dr Adeniyi also spoke and made other key points. This was followed by a question and answer session where community members were given an opportunity to ask the consultants questions that clouded their minds and they were addressed.
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ibadan who provided media coverage also interviewed the consultants and Administrator of the Headquarters’ Board.
The second part of the event which was the health check was carried out by members of the Headquarters’ Board and a member of the University of Ibadan Medical Students Association (UIMSA). The consultants offered counselling to each individual that was checked.
Pictures were taken with the special guests and the event came a close at about 2.00 pm.

The exercise was a successful one and the Headquarters’ Board hopes for the improvement and continuity of the Federation.

Read More







In May 1967, during the 20th World Health Assembly, a group of delegates representing 32 national public health associations convened to discuss the concept of a non-governmental civil society voice for public health. The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) was established and incorporated that same month in Geneva (Switzerland), with 16 core Member associations.

The WFPHA is an international, nongovernmental organization composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations. It is the only worldwide professional society representing and serving the broad field of public health. WFPHA’s mission is to promote and protect global public health. It does this throughout the world by supporting the establishment and organizational development of public health associations and societies of public health, through facilitating and supporting the exchange of information, knowledge and the transfer of skills and resources, and through promoting and undertaking advocacy for public policies, programs and practices that will result in a healthy and productive world.

WFPHA is accredited as an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). It collaborates with the WHO to advance the field of public health through the promotion of pro-health policies, strategies and best practices around the world. The Federation also holds consultation status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

WFPHA strives to promote effective public health policies and practices throughout the world every day. FAMSA looks forward to working with WFPHA in the following ways;

1. Gain knowledge of the factors which influence local, national and global health.

2. Apply broad based state-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative skills needed for problem solving like control of infection, reducing environmental hazards and substance abuse eg cocaine, tobacco etc

3. Develop multidisciplinary and collaborative strategies for solving health related problems.

4. Enhance communication skills by working with diverse populations and be positioned for a leadership role in health promotion and disease prevention. 5. Mentor-ship and career guidance for the medical students who would love to master in public health.

Read More



Mama Judith (as she is commonly known) is a 37 year old mother of seven living in Kakuba, Bushenyi District in Western Uganda. Her first born died at birth and four out of the remaining six children are deaf. She has nine dependants at home. Our first encounter with her children was during the African child day celebrations (DAC) at Bushenyi Primary School where three of her four deaf children study.
Just before our interactions with the family, we were warmly welcomed at the home (after about 2km walk through the banana plantations and crossing a swamp) with a great meal. The way we were received actually masks the pain and challenges the family has to deal with everyday. Her husband, who literally does not stay provide any kind of support to the family is a chronic alcoholic and only comes once in three months.
Being the breadwinner, Mama Judith has to rise up very early daily to look for food for her family.
Because she is illiterate, she says digging people in their gardens and selling banana leaves is nearly all she does for a living.

Disable Kids Pictures

The mother and the children with the FAMSA Executive Mr. Ephraim

Despite her love for the family (especially the deaf kids), communication is not very easy. “I find it very hard to talk to my own children and I cannot even easily understand them,” she says. The stigma in the community adds insult to injury. She says that there are two families in the whole village with deaf children but only her with more than one deaf child. “Even my own relatives have abandoned me,” she laments.

Her children who are in school have to walk to Bushenyi Primary School (which is about 5 km from their home); it is the only school for the disabled in the district.

Paying the school fees (about US dollars 20 annually) has been a challenge to the family. Three of the deaf children are in school though the other one is still too young for school. They are in Primary seven, three and two, in the same school, Bushenyi Primary School (Uganda).

During our stay at the home, Mama Judith always asked herself, “Why me, oh God.”
In conclusion she thanked the FAMSA for thinking about her and offering to pay for her children fees for the whole year.

By Ephraim Kisangala

KIU Western Campus

Read More

Reducing Maternal Mortality from Unsafe Abortion Conference

Reducing Maternal Mortality from Unsafe Abortion Conference Protea Hotel, Kampala

6-8th June, 2012

The 1st National conference on Unsafe abortion in Uganda held in Kampala, between the 6th and 8th of June, 2012 with the theme ‘Reducing Maternal Mortality from Unsafe Abortion’. In attendance were dignitaries from the ministry of health, Uganda, Political leaders (members of Parliament), activists, donor agencies, advocacy groups, FAMSA Executive members etc.

Due to the increasing maternal mortality rate in Uganda because of unsafe abortion the Ministry of health organized this conference sponsored by IPAS Alliance Africa, UNFPA and PACE. Heated debates, discussions and suggestions ensued all in view to channel a way forward to reduce the increasing maternal mortality rate in Uganda.

Maternal Conference pictures1

From left to right; Ephraim Kisangala (SCOMER chairman), Juuko Abdu (FAMSA East African regional coordinator), Dr. Phionah, Veronica (The former LOC for the 27th FAMSA Conference and GA, Priscilla (Treasurer), Dr. Osur (Director of Programs at IPAS), Dr. Kiggundu, John Paul Bagala( FAMSA president) and Fauz Kavuma(FAMSA Sec gen).

Undoubtedly FAMSA once again showed her zeal to achieving one of her numerous goals which is active participation in health related decision-making and contributing positively to the development of her members and Africa as a whole. The conference also afforded the opportunity for international dialogue and sharing of national experience.

Delegates at the National conference on Unsafe abortion at Protea Hotel in Uganda

maternal Conference Pictures3

FAMSA Executives at the conference; (from right to left) Fauz (sec gen), Priscilla (Treasurer), John Paul(President), midwife, Ephraim(SCOMER chairman), Veronica(LOC chairman at the 27th FAMSA conference) and Juuko(FAMSA regional coordinator).

Food for thought; “In unequal world, these women are the most unequal among unequal” “Hundreds of pregnant women, alive at sunset last   night never saw the sunrise this morning. Some of   them died in   labour, some died of hemorrhage in hospitals lacking blood, some died in the painful convulsions of eclampsia and some died on the table of an unskilled abortionist trying to terminate an   unwanted pregnancy”

 H.Nakajima, WHO 1999

Read More


The 1st FAMSA East African regional scientific conference and general assembly



Venue; Western Meridian Hotel Ltd, P.O. Box 286, Bushenyi, Western Uganda Region

AIM; to promote quality and provide equitable health to all people of East African community


1. To high light the global health, economic, social and structural challenges towards attaining quality and equitable health care.

2. To discuss the general methods of health resources allocation that have been successful in different countries and how best they can be applied in other countries.

3. To identify practical, effective, and easily implementable methods by which Medical Students all over East Africa, communities and other health care providers can contribute to improvement and the management of HIV, TB co- infections and Malnutrition and other medical conditions.

4. To make resolutions and advocate for more concerted political commitment from East African leaders towards the health related Millennium Development Goals

5. To highlight ways of improving East African health care provision capabilities and standards while also improving our current resource-poor circumstances.

6. To promote and catalyze medical research in medical universities and other health related institutions in East Africa


a) Pre General Assembly activities:

1. Malaria eradication campaigns

2. HIV/AIDS Awareness, counseling and testing

3. Promoting Family Planning, Maternal and Child Health

4. Community Hygiene Sanitation promotion

5. Reduction of Road Traffic Accidents by provision of Humps in Basajja-Ishaka trading centre.

b) General Assembly activities: Conferences, Workshops, Interactive forums and medical workshops.

c) Post General Assembly activities: Tour to Queen Elizabeth National Park.


  • Health policy development.
  • Mapping the health research landscape
  • Curbing Malnutrition as the major cause of child morbidity and mortality
  • The burden of mental illness
  • Role of Family planning in curbing maternal and child health .
  • HIV/ AIDS- TB Co-infection and MDRs (Multiple Drug Resistances)
  • The increasing burden of Non communicable diseases EA. (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma, Sickle cell disease)-Non communicable diseases a burden to East Africa.
  • Health insurance systems in East African countries.
  • Health Service Management – East Africa
  • Safety of Medicines in East Africa
  • Medical students as activists and advocates

Conference website; for more information

You can download the conference registration form here conference registration form 2012

Read More




The Day of the African Child marks the anniversary of the Soweto Uprising in 1976. On June 16, 1976, thousands of black South African students joined in a protest against the oppressive education policies of the apartheid regime. Police responded with force, killing an estimated two hundred children. Since 1991, June 16th has been an occasion to honour the courage of the children who participated in the protests, and to advocate for further action to address the physical and educational needs of children in Africa.

Pictures of Africa Child DayThis year’s theme was, “The Rights of Children with Disabilities”: the duty to protect, respect, promote and fulfill. In light of this situation, the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA), which is a project- oriented body of African Medical Students who seek to be actively involved in tackling the peculiar problems of the African continent, especially with regard to health felt compelled to show our support for the disabled in Africa by marking the day with activities aimed at improving the health of and raising awareness about the rights of the disabled in our communities.

Picture of Africa Child DayMSAMU from Moi University (Kenya) and AMSKIU from KIU (Uganda) carried out the various activities on this day and partnered with various schools for the disabled, Non- Governmental Organisations, corporates and community members. In Kenya, the main sponsor was Handicap International- Kitale program office, T-shirts were provided by Safaricom and Paul’s Bakery- Eldoret, Coca Cola- Rift Valley Bottlers ltd, Khetia, Suam and Transmatt supermarkets (all based in kitale) provided soft drinks and snacks for the event.


Pictures of Africa Child Day

In Uganda, Hunter Fm and TV, Red cross, Pride microfinance, United Faith Chapel, contagious fellowship, Watoto staff, health partners and KIU Western Campus and Teaching Hospital.

The activities carried out included; Disability Awareness Walk, Free pediatric medical camp, Health education at neighboring schools and communities, Fun day and Be a buddy- day. Recommendations

 Be-a-buddy program; it is our recommendation that every Medical Students’ Association in FAMSA endeavor to set up a social responsibility  program in their university to enable the medical students to interact with disabled and less-privileged persons of society in their immediate locality.

FAMSA would also like to appreciate the following companies for their priceless support in ensuring the success of this event;

  • Safaricom (a national telecommunications company),
  • Coca cola
  • Khetia supermarket
  • Handicap International
  • Family health options
  • Hunter Fm and TV
  • Red cross
  • Pride microfinance
  • United Faith Chapel
  • KIU Western Campus and Teaching Hospital.

“Towards the improvement of Health in Africa”



Read More

The 27th FAMSA General Assembly and Conference (Uganda)


Download 27th FAMSA General Assembly and Conference (UGANDA) REPORT

The 27th FAMSA conference and General Assembly under the theme; ‘Promoting maternal and child health’ was hosted by Gulu University ,Uganda  between 26th-31st March 2012. From the ambient conference environment of Acholi inn which served as accommodation and conference venue,  the exhilarating and educative plenary session ,abstrsct presentations by students and workshops, to the motherly treat by the first lady of Uganda Mrs. Janet Museveni. The conference filled the students with zeal to work harder and combat the current plight of mothers and children in Africa.

In attendants were over 150 medical students and Medical Professionals from different parts of the world representing medical schools in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Burundi Tanzania, Netherland and England.

There was also a pre-conference activity that took place in Payicho a sub county in Gulu district, Uganda. It included giving out of free medical services to the local people especially the needy and it was sponsored by World Vision.

The 27th FAMSA conference and General Assembly had a vibrant, cosmopolitan community. It was a cultural melting pot where each person contributed their unique blend of knowledge and thinking. Our delegates most of who were students came from over 30 countries in Africa and the rest of the world.

The delegates were also treated with a tour to the Great Murchison Falls and National Park. The closing ceremony saw the presentation of the new executives of the federation, presentation of certificates and cultural display by a Ugandan cultural Troupe.

The conference was sponsored by NGOs like World Vision, UNICEF, IPAS Africa Alliance, WHO and AMREF. Others included Gulu University, University Hospital of South Manchester and the office of the President of Uganda.

Surely everything   about this GA was top notch. The exquisite and good organization of the LOC comprising of students from Gulu University left many international delegates awed and opting to go on in the conference till God knows when!

Kavuma Fauz

Secretary General


Read More

ICASA 2011 – Own, Scale Up and Sustain

The 16th International conference on AIDS and STIs In Africa (ICASA) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia between the 4th and 8th of December, 2011 with the theme ‘OWN, SCALE UP and SUSTAIN’. In attendance were dignitaries from far and wide including political leaders like Former President George W. Bush of USA, activists, donor agencies, advocacy groups, students etc.

Satellite sessions and exhibitions were staged and heated debates, discussions and suggestions ensued all in view to channel a way forward to make Africa responsible for funding and sustaining HIV treatment and response in order to compliment international donors and find a substitute for HIV response funding due to increasing donor fatigue emanating from the dwindling economic situation in Europe and America.

Members of the FAMSA headquarters board with the FAMSA President ,Ralph Kwame Akyea (extreme right) and the Treasurer, Dorothy Abakah(middle)

In attendance were delegates from FAMSA Headquarters board, MSAs and FAMSA Executives actively participating in plenary and satellite sessions. Undoubtedly FAMSA once again showed her zeal to achieving one of her numerous goals which is active participation in health related decision-making and contributing positively to the development of her members and Africa as a whole. The conference also afforded the opportunity for international dialogue and sharing of national experience.

A plenary session at the conference

The next edition is scheduled to hold in Durban, South Africa in December, 2013.

Read More