I spent last weekend in Durban with an amazing bunch of young family doctors designing multiple choice questions for the 2020 final examination of the Higher Diploma in Family Medicine, run by the College of Family Physicians of South Africa. What really excited me was the enthusiasm to ensure high quality primary care and to make the Diploma support the South African plan for National Health Insurance (NHI). Whilst students may enrol in four South African universities there is keen interest to develop it in the other five to ensure it can scale with PHC Contracting for NHI.

I share objectives for WONCA Africa set out a year ago and some achievements in “WONCA Africa is moving”. A key objective was “Collaboration with the World Health Organisation” with significant progress. The “Kampala Commitment” shows the commitment of family doctors in Africa. A key element is the need to support the diploma as a way to make a bigger dent on capacity in PHC in preparation for efforts at universal health coverage and strategic purchasing in Africa.

We have shared this in our engagements with WHO AFRO. We also shared our multi-pronged education approach as WONCA Africa with SADC ministers.

  1. To develop full-time postgraduate master-level training to create specialist-level family physicians, especially for district hospitals
  2. To develop part-time online post-graduate diploma-level training to upskill MD’s/GPs and clinical officers/clinical associates for non-hospital patient- and people-centred PHC suitable at scale for UHC/NHI efforts.
  3. To develop/Support postgraduate training of nurses as Family Nurse Practitioners as part of the PHC team
  4. To improve undergraduate medical education so that graduates understand patient-centred care even if they become specialists.
  5. To improve undergraduate clinical officer / clinical associate and nurse training so that they understand patient- and people-centred care better
  6. To support CHW training as part of the PHC team

WONCA Africa expressed that it would like to directly engage with SADC Ministers to share what is happening in South Africa, how family medicine is already networked in Southern Africa and explore a shared  approach / collaboration in improving human resource management and development for primary health care in Southern Africa. This shared approach has been somewhat achieved in West and East Africa but is lacking formally in Southern Africa. We hoped Ministers can resolve on a task team made up of WONCA Africa, Primafamed, AfroPHC, WHO, Government, Regulators, Educators and other from each country to explore this shared approach and develop a strategy to build overall capacity of the PHC team in Southern Africa. Unfortunately we did not get an audience in the October 2019 meeting but hope to pursue this further.

We are eagerly awaiting a letter from Dr Moeti, Regional Director of WHO AFRO, asking WHO Country Directors to engage with WONCA Africa country member organisations to set up an AfroPHC Forum with high-level government officials in those countries to address PHC policy under UHC. We hope that AfroPHC brings together all healthcare professionals, workers and stakeholders at the African coalface in primary care to ensure that we ALL have a voice in policy on PHC in Africa. Keep tabs via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Telegram. Join AfroPHC here.

Want to do a PhD?  A recording of webinars are available at WONCA Africa.

Join the last WONCA Africa Academic Development Webinar tomorrow: Prof Mergan Naidoo discusses “Psychometrics for MCQs” 8pm (GMT+2) Thursday 24th October 2019. Register here. See more at the WONCA Africa Academic Development. A recording of webinars are available there.

Visit WONCA Africa and join here. Keep tabs on FacebookTwitterYouTube or Telegram.  Don’t forget to join us for the WONCA2020 Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Check out www.ProfMoosa.com for more useful stuff e.g.