Emma Gold, UK emergency medicine trainee and current clinical fellow for the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) reports from Cape Town, South Africa.
Hello from Cape Town!
Over the past year, I have been working as a clinical fellow for the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM), serving as a part of the core management team. AFEM’s mission is to address the need for emergency care systems development in Africa to ensure timely and high-quality emergency care is available for all.
As part of my AFEM role I have supported the planning and organisation of the biennial African Conference on Emergency Medicine (AfCEM). The Emergency Medicine Society of Ghana is hosting this year’s conference in Accra, Ghana from 16th-18th NOvember, and the theme is: the role of Emergency Medicine in achieving universal health care: research. education. clinical care.
This year’s conference is the first face-to-face AfCEM conference since the start of the Covid19 pandemic. AfCEM brings together stakeholders in African emergency care development from across the continent and worldwide. It is an essential mechanism for meeting like-minded emergency care providers, sharing knowledge and experiences, and building partnerships. It is going to be a blast.
So why should you care about AfCEM?
The disruption to global emergency care development, especially in low- and middle-income countries, from the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic cannot be overstated. Despite this setback, emergency care system strengthening activities in Africa have continued and expanded.
In the West we take emergency care for granted. Although emergency care in Africa has expanded substantially over the last decade, it is worth bearing in mind that only 13 out of the 54 countries in Africa have a formal society that supports emergency care. Even fewer offer specialist training in emergency care for healthcare providers.
Attending a conference such as AfCEM is not just an experience for Western delegates, it also is an enormous privilege for African delegates. For many this will be their first brush with formalised emergency care networking in a supportive setting. But many delegates need support to attend. This is where you come in.
Five years ago, at DAS SMACC, arguably one of the best talks of the conference was by Dr Annet Alenyo. If you have never heard it, I’d strongly encourage you to do so without delay. What is not widely known is that Annet was drawn into the world of African emergency care through a sponsored attendance to an African emergency care conference. And the sponsorship was supported by peers from the West.
I think we can all agree that any emergency care system can do with several clones of Annet.
How can you support African emergency care?
Support a delegate (or Supadel for short) is AFEM’s unique sponsorship programme that facilitates the attendance of delegates from low- and middle-income countries at AFEM-affiliated conferences across the continent. Without financial support, all the potential Annets out there will miss out on attending AfCEM 2022.
Those who can’t attend will not be able to take advantage of the opportunities for furthering their own practice and advancing Emergency Care development in their region. And we will miss out globally.
Any financial contribution will help support delegates to attend the AfCEM 2022. To support Supadel, you can simply add a donation when registering for the AfCEM conference or you can pay it forward and donate here:
More African emergency care St. Emlyn’s links for your convenience:
- Equality and global health. What I learned from being a recovering racist…
- An Englishman in South Africa
- Is there anything else I need to know? Working in Africa
- Developing EM – Support an African Delegate
- Lessons from a South African ED
- South Africa as a Medical Student Elective
- Time in rural South Africa as a UK traine