Established in 1968, the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations, FAMSA, is an independent, non political Federation of Medical Students’ Associations in Africa.
FAMSA was founded in 1968 as a Nigerian, Ugandan and Ghanian initiative to foster the spirit of friendship and cooperation among African medical students. FAMSA is a project oriented medical student body and is recognised by the African Union and the World Health Organization as the official international forum of African medical students.
The FAMSA vision is to become a strong network of medical students, aware of global health issues and responsive to the current questions facing the medical profession and global health.
FAMSA seeks, among other things,
- To be the forum for medical students throughout the African continent to discuss topics related to health, education and medicine to formulate action plans from such discussions and to carry out appropriate activities.
- To act as a mechanism for medical students’ professional exchange and projects
- To be an advocacy body to sensitise and redirect African governments’ policies towards the path to sustainable health and development
- To act as a mechanism for organisations under its membership to raise funds for projects recognised by FAMSA
FAMSA consists of five organs of action. FAMSA serves as an umbrella body for their activities – facilitating the exchange of ideas, enabling student exchanges and acting as a collective voice for the medical students of Africa on issues affecting them and the continent.
I. The General Assembly
This is the highest authority and policy making arm of FAMSA. It usually holds annually at the medical school hosting the FAMSA Vice Presidency. The purpose of the General Assembly is to formulate FAMSA activities and to elect FAMSA officials.
Scientific sessions are held on topical health issues, with students and resource persons presenting papers regarding the theme of the General Assembly. In addition, workshops are held to discuss the issues that emerge in the papers. The aim of the workshops is also to draft the resolution of the General Assembly. These resolutions are then discussed and adopted at a plenary session.
Secondly, the General Assembly provides the opportunity for FAMSA programs in the preceding year to be evaluated, initiate new programmes and elect FAMSA executives. These are usually done at the Business meetings during the General Assembly.
II. The Permanent Headquarters
This institution serves as the archival centre, a pivot for membership recruitment, interagency collaboration, building of partnerships and fundraising. It assumes the functions of the Executive Council when the Executive Council’s tenure lapses. It has been hosted by the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association, since 1977.
The FAMSA permanent headquarters organizes the FAMSA General Assembly in conjunction with the medical students association usually hosting the FAMSA Vice President.
III. The FAMSA Executive Council
This consists of office holders. These office holders are elected at the General Assembly. The body is charged with carrying out specific duties assigned at the General Assembly.
IV. Medical Students’ Associations (MSA)
These are the actual members of FAMSA as an organization, as well as her workforce.
V. Standing Committees
There are at present 5 standing committees. These are:
- Standing Committee on Health and Environment (SCOHE)
- Standing Committee on Medical Education and Research (SCOMER)
- Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE)
- Standing Committee on Publication (SCOPUB)
- Standing Committee on Population Activity (SCOPA).