Welcome Letter

Welcome Letter

Dr Uduak Okomo
MBBCh, MSc, FWACP (Paediatrics), PhD
Vice President & The Gambia Chapter Chair West African College of Physicians

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

On behalf of The Gambia Chapter of West African College of Physicians and the Local Organizing Committee, I am thrilled to invite you to the 44th and 45th Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) of West African College of Physicians which will be held on 1st to 3rd November 2021 as a fully virtual meeting.

The themes for the 44th and 45th AGSM, “Universal Health Coverage: A right for everyone, everywhere”, “The role of vaccines in universal health coverage”, and “Destigmatising mental health in the sub-region”, are timely. Sustainable Development Goal 3 aspires to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. It also aims to achieve universal health coverage, provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all, while supporting research and development for vaccines as well as expanding access to affordable medicines. In recent years, mental health has stepped out of the shadows and is increasingly being part of the “conversation”; yet the stigma of mental health contributes to health disparities and discrimination and continues to permeate all of society, affecting people at all levels. The impact of the current coronavirus disease pandemic on health service provision and utilisation, the management of related co-morbidities and the major prevalent public health challenges, including mental health cannot be overemphasised. As an organising committee, we aim to bring together experts, researchers, and key stakeholders in various fields of Universal Health Coverage, Vaccinology and Mental Health for enhanced collaboration, to advance the thinking, and exchange ideas.

The meeting is designed for practicing physicians and all healthcare providers working in the fields of paediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, community medicine, laboratory medicine, researchers, professors, government, and public health officials. The organizing committee is committed to continuing The WACPs strong tradition of bringing the West African medical community together, across geographic and interdisciplinary boundaries. We strongly feel that to improve healthcare delivery in the sub-region, advance research collaboration and networking, it is pivotal to connect with the global medical community. The virtual format will make the AGSM accessible to more people than ever and thereby expand the reach of our programme.

We look forward to sharing with you the experience of the Virtual WACP AGSM in November 2021.

Dr Uduak Okomo MBBCh, MSc, FWACP (Paediatrics), PhD
Vice President & The Gambia Chapter Chair
West African College of Physicians
On behalf of the Local Organising Committee