News & Events



It is agreed by all that the current state of African health systems leave much to be desired. African health systems, as a whole, are crippled right from public health education and other primary prevention methods through to tertiary prevention methods. As a result of the consistent lack of generational thinkers and planners; as a result of political leaders lacking the basic sense of priority to invest more resources is their nation’s state of health, we perish needlessly. “Health is the primary duty of life”, as eloquently relayed in Lady Bracknell’s monologue by Oscar Wilde in ‘The importance of being earnest”. Health is a priority; even more so is the health of the health provider. It is also worth noting also that we have so few of such persons.

Many hazards pose a great threat to the health providers we have littered across the continent. In my country where doctors are overworked in exchange for meagre returns and conditions of service. Increasing stress levels which proves detrimental to the health worker’s health. Yet they endure all to serve the needs of the people, whom they tend to prize above their own lives.

Enslaved by their passion to provide good health services to their people, they now find themselves working in a very unsafe environment where they are at risk of contracting the very diseases they seek to cure.

With no deliberate intention to open past and healing wounds, allow me to cite as example the recent cataclysm we suffered as a continent. The dreaded Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. In 2014, when it’s cruel head reared in Sierra Leone. The violent wave swept with it over 11 doctors from the country alone; chief of whom was the country’s senior most doctor, Dr. Victor Willoughby. In total, a mouth gaping 350 health workers were lost to the disease before the end of December that same year. A large percent of these deaths could have been avoided if the health providers who worked around the clock to save lives had basic protection gears and aids to protect them from direct contact with the rambunctious virus.

At the onset of the disease the nation was completely unguarded. Health workers of course had been dying of smaller work related infections. But they did little to provide the health workers with the necessary protection gears, suits, gloves, etc. until disaster struck in catastrophic proportions. Exposing the health workers to hazardous doom in its purest form.


African has to value the lives of its health workers, especially seeing how few we are. Congenial conditions must be created, to make working in a hospital environment safe. There was strong media coverage on a story in a Teaching Hospital in my own country ,Ghana, the hospital’s name I would withhold for obvious reasons. The Teaching Hospital run out of simple basic materials like gloves etc. for several days, maybe weeks even. This puts the doctors and health workers in a very dire situation. The health worker’s attempt to save a life could cost him his very own.

I bellow for a wakeup call. The political leadership, the influencers of policy, the hands that steer the national reins must refocus their attention to the health sector. The leadership of Africa must wake up to its dying health workers. No one deserves to die over a matter of gloves. Years of medical schooling and training wasted because no one provided the health workers with the basic necessities to protect their own selves.

I do not sound horns of doom. With my literary torch, I point to a future where health is improved in Africa. I point to a future where doctors can work free from fear and worry. Where doctors are provided with congenial facilities and conditions that challenges them to put out their very best. Have a good day Africa!!!

Derrick Korletey,
MSA General Secretary,
Fourth year medical student
University for Development Studies,
Ghana, West Africa.

+233 261077845
fb: Derrick Korletey Original

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Every August, medical students in Cameroon organize themselves to reach out to areas with limited access to primary healthcare.

This year, FAMSA together with the Cameroon English Speaking Medical Students Association(CAMESA), Yaoundé and the Buea Medical Students Association (BMSA) in collaboration with GiftedMom visited the Mbonge-Ekondo titi health district in the south west region of Cameroon.

For seven days, through the rain and bad roads, they decided to serve humanity in their own little way rather than bask in the comfort of their homes during the summer holidays.

The following activities were carried out during the campaign;

-Free consultation

-Health talks on malaria, reproductive health etc.

-Free screening for HIV/AIDS, diabetes and hypertension

-Minor surgeries such as lipoma excisions, nodulectomies etc.

The campaign was a huge success and we laud the sacrifice, dedication and commitment of these unsung heroes….

                              Njang Mbeng Emmanuel

                             (FAMSA PRESIDENT)

Here are some pictures from the event.

Medical students gathering to go visit the community

Medical students gathering to go visit the community.

Medical students providing free consultations

Medical students providing free consultations.

Students analysing blood samples.

Students analysing blood samples.

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The FAMSA Headquarters Administrative board – resident in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria – the permanent administrative secretariat– on the 18th of June, 2016 sent out a call for membership of the administrative board to interested people in the host school. Applications were sent in and an interview session was held by the outgoing administrative board which included the outgoing administrator – Dr. Olufemi Osunlakin, past administrators and outgoing directors.

The interview involved questions about FAMSA, the Headquarters Board, review of the year plan and other related information. There is however a scoring system to pass the interview.

The other directors were appointed by the new administrator on the 31st of July, 2016 with the help of past administrators according to their performances during their rotations through the different directorates.

Below are the names, positions and contacts of the 2016/2017 members of the FAMSA Administrative Headquarters board:

Miss Onaga Zita Ugochukwu, FAMSA Administrator, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2347066677796, +2347013514572

Miss Odunola Modupe, Board Secretary, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2348077018372

Miss Olubamiwa Tinuoluwa, Director of Finance, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2348163711959

Miss Adegeye Yewande, Director of Logistics, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2347034589754

Miss Ojie Desire I., Director of Internal Media, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2348138612966

Mr Omiye Jesutofunmi, Director of External Media, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 400level,, +2348139356368

Mr Ojo Olakorede Jacob, Director of Project, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 500level,, +2348135374183

Miss Olatoke Ifeoluwa, Director of Human Resources, University of Ibadan Medical Students Association, 600level,, +2347057986126

Agoyi Mary O.,
Chairperson, Standing Committee On Publication [SCOPUB],
FAMSA 2016/2017
College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria,
+2348152915038, +2348137107259

c/o Njang Mbeng Emmanuel
The president, FAMSA 2016/2017
The FAMSA Secretariat,
University of Buea, Cameroon,
+237674798292, +23791632941

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FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FEDERATION DES ASSOCIATION DES ETUDIANTS EN MEDICINE) FAMSA is a Non Governmental, Non Profit Oriented Organisation for all medical students in Africa to play a significant role in improvement of the health of the African people and the problems of African society in as much as they fall within the purview of medicine and the realization that as medical students, we have the will and power to make significant contributions.
The General Assembly is the highest representative and supreme policy-making body in FAMSA, bringing together African Medical Students Association and its Decisions are binding and final.
The power, functions and importance of the General Assembly include:
– Executive Council members can only be elected by the General Assembly.
– The General Assembly reviews and approves the reports of all executive council members.
– All recommendations raised by the General Assembly shall be considered and implemented by the Executive Council.
– The General Assembly shall scrutinize and approve the following:
  – constitutional changes
  – final list of members
  – finance and credentials.
Are you an MSA in Africa; Registered under FAMSA or not?
Would you like to host Africa in your home country and school?
Do you want to be part of the change in FAMSA and Africa as a whole?
Then, here is your chance!!!…
Date: March 2017
  1. Be an MSA in Africa.
  2.  Have what it takes to host Africa (Accommodation, Transportation, Conference halls, Seminar rooms, Multimedia, Security among others).
  3. Inform the FAMSA executives and necessary authorities to be double sure.
Deadline for application is October 30th, 2016.
All applications should be sent to
Remember; You are the beginning of the change you want, so don’t be afraid, be a part of it.
FAMSA… Towards The Improvement Of Health In Africa
Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola,
Chairperson, SCOPUB,
FAMSA 2016
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FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FEDERATION DES ASSOCIATION DES ETUDIANTS EN MEDICINE) FAMSA is a Non Governmental, Non Profit Oriented Organisation for all medical students in Africa to play a significant role in improvement of the health of the African people and the problems of African society.
If you are interested in the above theme and you would like to share your ideas with Africa and the World as a whole and publish on the FAMSA’s website –
Please send us your full article on any topic of your choice under the above theme.
Deadline is 11:59pm GMT Friday, 9th of September, 2015.
Incoming articles should adhere to the following specifications:
1. Clearly defined brief topic
2. Not more than 1,500 words
3. Full details of writer including Name, school, country and contacts.
All articles should be sent to and
Remember; You are the beginning of the change you want, so don’t be afraid, be a part of it.
FAMSA… Towards The Improvement Of Health In Africa
Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola,
Chairperson, SCOPUB,
FAMSA 2016
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South Africa is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa, the 25th largest country in the world by land area with close to 53million people and the world’s 24th most populous nation. It is a multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages and religions. 11 official languages are recognised; which is among the highest number of any country in the world and in terms of income, economy, education, politics, infrastructure and health, is classified as a developed country

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the other hand located within South and Central Asia is the 42nd most populous country in the world with a population of about 32million people and the 41st largest country in the world. It is also multi-ethnic society, but with 2 Indo-European official languages – Pashto and Dari. Majority of the country’s population live in rural areas and is involved in agricultural activities. Afghanistan is an impoverished least developed country, one of the world’s poorest because of decades of war and lack of foreign investment.

Improved Health Care Funding and Quality of life in South Africa – a developed post conflict setting – and Afghanistan – a developing post and intra conflict setting – both directly related, has been approached by different methods. The methods applied and measures taken are compared below:

Transition from Apartheid to a constitutional Democracy gave way to redirection of funds, hence, gave a new turn to their way of life and living and helped them to restructure their health system. Retreating and allowing the country recover from the series of military conflicts and several wars ; in a war torn country health cannot strive, therefore the singular act of ceasing fire is the beginning of a step towards an improved health care.
They run a parallel private and public health system, although the public is underfunded and under staffed with 75% of the doctors working in the private sectors but they use the Uniform Patient Fee Schedule in the private sector The country runs a public health system majorly, although encouraging private health sector to improve the nation health and assessment since the economy has low income earning and strict Male to female consultation. Therefore the health system is being rebuilt by afghan government, NGOs and US government giving a client centred structure with no major privatization
Quality Of Life: now, there is an increase in number of people that have access to more health infrastructures and provisions unlike the lower numbers in the past QOL: there is a little increase in number of people having access to the health infrastructures and provisions available which is minimally better than what was in the past.
They established a department dedicated to healthcare i.e. Department of Health (DoH). This allows to monitor and follow-up all healthcare related activities The dedicated sector to health is the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). This helps to take decisions on health (although might be derogatory sometimes) making it possible to account for actions and funds management.
After identifying strategies of health point of contact, to cover all their obvious health problems; they put in place National Health Insurance (NHI) Still developing and trying to bounce back from the effect of wars, the whole health care area cannot be handled solely by them so they allow other countries, bodies or organisations e.g. WHO, India, France and so on fund and invest in them.


Improved patients health care is been covered by invention of Institute of Health care Improvement (IHI) and also in partnership with DoH and local Organisation to improve National health system efforts Involvement of the military into their health system to provide tertiary care and help adequate funding i.e. Afghan National Security Forces (ANA and ANP)
Quality of life is being worked on by research works from South African Medical Research Council, which also funds other health organisation and projects. Quality of life is been worked on by implementing National policy strategy
Strategic partnership for investment and funding e.g. Aurum institute funded by PEPFAR, Best Care Always (BCA) funded by both public and private health care providers and professional societies. Implementation of BPHS(Basic Package of Health Services) and EPHS (Essential package of Hospital Services) has drastically improved and bridged the gap in the public health system


In conclusion as a developing country in an intra-post conflict phase, Afghanistan’s effort to improvement and more is being carried out collectively, getting help from all sources and in some years, they would be able to overcome their setback and totally increase or improve their quality of life.

While South Africa – although in Africa – is a model country that has gotten back on her feet, is maintaining and also building up on the nation centred health structure they have, although the private health sector has the bulk of the system. This could be emulated by all.


Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola

College of medicine, University of Lagos,



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Health literacy and health policy are important; why is this?

Health literacy refers to the ability and degree to which an individual can read, utilize information of healthcare to make some decisions and instructions for treatments and prevention. Meanwhile Health policies are decisions and actions that are undergone to achieve specific healthcare goals in a society. With the Knowledge of these, it’s still appalling that many societies still suffer many disease outbreaks.

Recently, health issues have become top priority to government of some areas globally, ranging from minor fever to pandemics such as Malaria, Lassa fever and epidemics like Ebola. But a disturbing factor is that, people in these regions where outbreaks occur have the highest number of ignorant and illiterate people; who have failed to acknowledge simple facts that would go a long way to determine their state of health.

In this context, even if a policy is made that may solve a current epidemic, it would probably not work if the people in the population are illiterate. Studies have proven that we have more illiterate people health wise – so without proper knowledge, even understanding common prescriptions would be a problem. Low health literacy has been seen to reduce the success of treatment, increase risk of treatment and medical error, leading medical systems being blamed for the cause of the problems and more.

Health literacy has posed some major problems to implementing of health policies, it has become a known fact that individual don’t even care about their health until a major breakdown occurs, when they have no choice but to seek professional health care. If from the onset people are well educated, the risks of certain acts would reduce and prevention for certain illnesses increase – hence, the society would have less health problems to deal with – because her people have knowledge on how to care for themselves.

In situations where the society is completely illiterate, any measures to curb health problems, would prove abortive, relating to policies that need to be understood and implemented – may aid the pending situations – but quite impossible due to low or no literacy level. This on the “long” or rather, “short” run lead to wide spread of diseases and would pose harder for the society to fight, because the entire population do not understand the measures in the available policies that would help to control the situation.

Take for instance, during the outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria; most people died – not from the disease – but because they lacked knowledge and poisoned themselves with salt all in the name of “prevention” against the disease they thought was airborne initially. In this case, it goes to shows that not having health orientation about certain diseases can cause a society to fail in its eradication. Presently, Ebola is still a pandemic in many nations; as people keep on spreading and contacting this virus because they are not well inclined to the ideal prevention process of this disease.

If a society wants to implement any public health policy; it is advisable for them to take into consideration the literacy level of the population and try to make the explanation as plain as possible, because funny as it may seem, these policies are written in ways that are so ambiguous for the ordinary lay man to understand. Therefore, having a whole lot of health policies but no idea to put them to use because the society can’t read, understand or apply them… it’s just like having nothing. When the basis of something is not understood – Illiteracy, the use won’t be evident – unimplementation.



Ucha Kalu;

College of Medicine, University of Lagos,


For the standing committee on publications (SCOPUB)

FAMSA 2016

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It is rather most unusual to come across an article which is to be themed on Africa and Health Management titled, ‘’Reading.’’ As you read on, you would soon come to perfectly sound understanding of why this caption best fits this article.

Reading is one of the key first basic things taught in education. It is the knowledge skill set that enables and empowers you to acquire many other kinds of knowledge. I came across a quote by an esteemed philosophical mind, Dr Mike Murdock, he said, ‘’ you don’t have a money problem you have a knowledge problem, you don’t have a health problem you have a knowledge problem…’’. I find that this thought provoking quote could very easily be said about Africa. We don’t have a poverty crisis, we have a knowledge crisis. We don’t have a health crisis instead we have a massive knowledge crisis.

The root and stem of every problem that plagues anyone and more especially our beloved continent is an issue of knowledge. A wise Ghanaian woman once said to me, ‘’If you know better, you simply do better.’’ So in our quest to tackle Africa’s age long battle against diseases we should focus our efforts on educating the masses. Investing our capital and other resources into the much neglected field of educating the African mind. Education equips you with this simple and much needed tool, the ability to read. When you are able to read, you acquire a skill set that enables you to teach yourself anything you would like to learn under this broad and expansive earth. Master anything at all, through the simple yet powerful tool of reading.

There are several dozens of millions of health materials that litter this great continent. However the inability of the average African man and woman to read and have access to these materials go a long way to hamper our health and general growth. If there are big posters in my local hospital wall that highlight Ebola and how to guard yourself from the deadly disease. I can only make sense of the pictures on the wall; however the written words that contain crucial information on how to avoid contracting this cataclysm of a disease remains a great mystery to me. The effect of health education via common media like television, new papers, magazines, flyers, brochures etc. would quadruple their desired effects if the typically African man is but empowered to read. If I am able to read, I can acquire knowledge and learn about my own personal health. I can acquire knowledge and be responsible about my health and that of my home.

Many NGOs from across the world, that provide much needed health promotion items and medical aids to places that need them – the most – across the length and breadth of this continent, are doing a fantastic job. I would like to commend them on that, it is most admirable. However, health relief items and aids are merely attacking the leaves and not the roots of Africans health crisis. I am a medical student in my third year and we recently had a lecture with one of our Public Health professors, Dr Sam Bugri. In that brilliant lecture he spoke about the three levels of disease prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention. The primary level, which is where we must focus our efforts, revolves around the need to prevent and come up with initiatives and means to prevent the onset and contraction of a disease. Secondary prevention deals with the supposed treatment of a disease that a patient now suffers. Tertiary is the mere management of a disease that typically has a poor prognosis. African health systems aided by foreign agencies chiefly expend great resources to tackle the latter two, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. Public health education is key to Africa’s deliverance from disease slavery. As the ancient verity quote says, ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Empowering the African to read and become self-aware; opens his mind to a world of endless learning through books and would unleash a force strong enough to face and battle diseases that not only affect him but also the people in his community whom he loves.

Empower us to read, you empower us to take charge of our health. Of all the continents of this world, it is unanimously agreed and closed to debate that Africa is gifted and endowed with the vast share of untapped potentials. We have a chance to mould ourselves into something powerful. We have a chance to mould ourselves into a model of sound health with a formidable life expectancy like Australia, Guernsey, Switzerland and the many such countries. We can effectively manage our health. If we empower the African mind to read the A, B, Cs. African health management would be as effective and easy as A, B, C, itself. Have a good day Africa!!



READING article authors pic


A third year medical student from the University For Development Studies

Ghana, West Africa.

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Through the ages, humankind has been severely scourged by the burden of viral hepatitis. In 2010 the World Health Assembly took a major step in the fight against this killer disease by the institution of the World Hepatitis Day (WHD) to be commemorated globally on July 28. The WHD aims to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis.

Viral Hepatitis is one of the most prevalent and serious infectious conditions in the world. Globally about 1.45 Million people die each year from the disease and over 400 Million people are infected – that is nearly 10 times the number of people infected with HIV. To put this in perspective, viral hepatitis is the seventh major cause of mortality due to disease worldwide. It kills more people than malaria or HIV or TB individually. To add to this unlike most communicable diseases, the absolute burden and relative rank of viral hepatitis increased between 1990 and present day. As though the picture was not gloomy enough, 95% of infected people have no idea that they are infected.

In the face of this grave threat, the scientific community has reacted spectacularly. As early as 1982 an effective vaccine was discovered against Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Its usage however only became widely implemented in developing countries in the early 2000’s but as at now, a vast majority of children receive this vaccine in early infancy. There now exist an effective cure for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and treatments are available that remarkably slow down the progression of HBV. Work is also underway for the development of an effective cure for HBV and a vaccine for HCV.

If there used to be a recurring question about why viral hepatitis receives so little funding and attention from global health policy makers and donors, it certainly is a redundant question today. As of May 2016, the World Health Assembly unveiled an ambitious yet feasible and achievable plan to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. This impressive plan will save a whopping 7.1Million by its achievement. This first-ever WHO Elimination Strategy for Viral Hepatitis focuses on;

–              raising awareness, promoting partnerships and mobilizing resources;

–              formulating evidence-based policy and data for action;

–              preventing transmission; and

–              Scaling up screening, care and treatment services.

The FAMSA Standing Committee On Health and Environment – SCOHE – calls on every African medical student and MSA, to play an even more active role in the fight against this leading cause of death and disability which particularly hits our continent, be it by the organization of rallies or press briefings or screening events or symposia.

Inspired by the advice of WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan – ‘My first advice to people: get tested. Knowing your status helps you take measures to protect your own health and that of your family’ – SCOHE came up with the LiverAct pledge campaign to commemorate this year’s WHD.

The LiverAct pledge campaign aims to raise awareness on viral hepatitis and motivate individuals to take crucial personal measures towards the elimination of viral hepatitis. The dual pledge calls on individuals;

–              A pledge to Get Tested, Get Vaccinated, Get Treated

–              A pledge to tell at least one other person about viral hepatitis

The Pledge will run for four months – the figure 4 chosen to sympathize with the over 400 Million people infected with viral hepatitis – and we eagerly look forward to see how the movement catches on and feel grateful for the opportunity to play a small part towards the elimination of viral hepatitis.



Acho Abongwa

SCOHE Chairman.

FAMSA 2016

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Menstrual Health and Hygiene; The Tale of an African Maiden


In the course of my undergraduate research works titled Knowledge, Attitude And Practices Towards Menstruation And The Prevalence Of Menstrual Patterns And Disorders Among Adolescents In Secondary School – carried out in a semi-urban local government area in a south western state in Nigeria – I found out that adolescents health in under developed and developing countries, sincerely and painfully, have a very long way to go in learning of basic things concerning their health. As their ignorance level is alarmingly high.

During the course of this enlightening study, I was opportuned to mingle with average in-school adolescents from the low and middle socio economic class and I got exposed to the various issues facing us as Africans in our peculiarities and how it affects the entire populace, especially the female child and adolescent.

Although, the study location – Nigeria is my home country but the results and findings from other studies in different African countries are similar and correspond; however, with minor variations. Where our deficiencies in knowledge, practices, health seeking behaviours and inadequacies in economic power were glaring and thereby led to a lot of bad turn on the adolescent health and female populace as a whole.

One of the most striking problem noticed, was the oath of silence and grudge of secrecy, which the older generation – most especially women and men indulged in – have sworn and its killing our younger generation.

Not having a complete knowledge about a particular issue can be very detrimental. And this is the case of the African maiden, who doesn’t know and does not know she doesn’t, hence perishing in her ignorance. Knowledge should be acquired and given, as this would improve health and hygiene practices among the girls and the general populace, and go a long way to change our – health – story in Africa.


Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola

College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Chairman, Standing Committee On Publication


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