It is our pleasure to send you our Year in Review Report for the year 2021. The idea of the Besrour Centre for Global Family Medicine was born out of the tragedies of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur Sudan that began in 2003, the Banda Aceh tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 and the Haitian earthquake of 2010.
Since the official opening of the Besrour Centre in 2015, we have matured both as a discipline and as a centre. Today, not only do we advocate for family medicine and its role in improving patient care, but also for the models of care throughout the health system that are based on family medicine principles. Over the last six years, our focus has shifted from building family medicine capacity in low- and middle-income countries to studying and promoting family medicine-led models around the world.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of our work. It continues to highlight that global problems require global solutions—it is not just an urgent moral issue, it’s a global public health issue. The pandemic also highlighted gaps in and between health systems around the world. Capacity has been stretched everywhere, revealing areas where access remains problematic, and where integration at the system level is still lacking. At the same time, it revealed incredible innovation and perseverance.
As the pandemic continues to vacillate between infectious and chronic impacts, improved integration and the adaptability of family medicine will be key in all health system contexts, including Canada. All of Besrour Centre’s initiatives are exploring or demonstrating how family doctors are leading at this time. Our collective journey highlights that capacity building takes time and determination. To continue this work, we need your ongoing engagement, partnership, and help. We are deeply appreciative of the funding provided by the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine (FAFM) and all our partners that helps fuel our work. As always, we are indebted to Dr. Sadok Besrour for his vision and perennial support to build the Centre.
Together, we are a vibrant network of community-based leaders and partners that continue to learn from one another. Our collective effortsare strengthening family medicine-led models that are at the heart of health systems around the world and, in turn, improve equitable access to care.
David Ponka, MD CM, CCFP(EM), FCFP, MSc Director | Directeur The Besrour Centre for Global Family Medicine | Le Centre Besrour pour la médecine familiale mondiale The College of Family Physicians of Canada | Le Collège des médecins de famille du Canada 1(905) 629-0900 ext | poste 398 email@example.com://www.cfpc.ca/The_Besrour_Centre/
Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems (ReLAB-HS) is continuing its efforts to strengthen health systems that are responsive to the growing needs for rehabilitation across the lifespan by targeting its efforts in Burma, Pakistan, Uganda and Ukraine – and in this newsletter you can read of how ReLAB-HS is making a difference in those countries.
Read about ReLAB-HS’s official launch in Pakistan, its advocacy work at the World Health Assembly, and connect with several learning resources created by the consortium. This newsletter also contains information on how to register for an upcoming Massive Online Open Course, “Understanding the Rehabilitation Needs of Displaced Persons.” And be sure to save the date (Sept. 26, 9 a.m. EDT) for a ReLAB-HS webinar “Leadership for Rehabilitation: Addressing the needs in fragile and conflict-affected settings.” …more
It has been an arduous task to prepare the next draft of the AfroPHC Policy Framework, after extensive discussions at the AfroPHC e-Conference 17-18th May. Sorry that we did not share anything in June and July! We have now fashioned a “Health care worker call for Africa to build effective PHC teams for PHC and UHC in Africa” It is now available for public comment after the Executive and Advisory Boards have engaged with it.
This second draft of the AfroPHC policy framework is still an argument from healthcare workers for policymakers to prioritise PHC teamwork for holistic care of empanelled populations in decentralised units of community practice. We see the definition of PHC services and modelling of teams in the light of country resources, emerging blended capitation payment systems in UHC reforms across Africa, the inclusion of private providers and the use of complexity theory in bottom-up organisation of PHC in Africa as critical supports that are needed to build PHC teams for UHC in Africa. See the document here and please feel free to comment on it [https://afrophc.org/2022/08/07/afrophc-draft-policy-framework-released-for-stakeholder-comment/].
We have been fortunate in winning a PHC Performance Initiative Micro-Grant of $40 000 to take the policy framework further. It was an incredibly strong pool of 200 applicants and our proposal rose to the top. The goal in our grant-seeking project is to deepen the draft AfroPHC Policy Framework on “Building PHC teams for UHC in Africa” by focusing on EFFECTIVENESS. The target participants and audiences will be AfroPHC members, PHC team members and other stakeholders as well as young health professionals and students at regional and country levels. Activities will be mostly online across African countries, with hybrid Final Workshop of the AfroPHC Executive and Advisory Board in Johannesburg, South Africa 25th-26th October 2022 and a virtual Launch Event on 12th December 2022. See more about the overall grant activities here [https://afrophc.org/2022/08/07/phc-performance-initiative-micro-grant/].
Our process starts in earnest as we have until end October to use the funds. We have a list of regions and stakeholder groups we would like to engage: Central, Southern, Western, Eastern, Arabic and Portuguese Africa. See the detailed list of countries and key stakeholders with dates of consultations and join the WhatsApp group for these regions. See more here [https://afrophc.org/chapters/]. We are very keen that as many local stakeholders participate. These include professional associations, ministries of health, accreditation / certification bodies, academics, patient advocacy groups etc. Please feel free to share this email to any key stakeholders you think should be there and ask them to join us to discuss AfroPHC and the Policy Framework.
We keen to collect cases on ““Building effective multidisciplinary primary health care teams for universal health coverage in Africa” and have set aside prizes worth $1000 for this purpose. We are looking for short, real-life stories about an initiative, project or advocacy campaign that highlight interdisciplinary and interprofessional teamwork being implemented within the African context, demonstrating person and family centered care and helping communities and societies transition to healthy populations. Sharing experiences of less successful case studies and lessons learned is also welcome. The deadline for submitting the case studies is 11th September. Winners will be announced by 31st October. The case studies can be submitted in text format (1200 words max), following the guiding questions, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Complementing the case studies with visual materials, such as photos from the field, would be most welcome. See details here https://afrophc.org/2022/08/07/call-for-submissions-of-short-cases/
The AfroPHC Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 19th May agreed to some few changes. A key change is that we will have associate membership having full access to all the current benefits of AfroPHC. We have created full membership at a fee of $20 for individual members and $40 for institutional members with the additional benefit of having vote/s at the Annual General Meeting and being able to stand for election to the Executive Board (EB). We will begin this process from November 2022. Speaking of elections we welcome our three new EB members: Dr Umar Ibrahim (CHEW, Nurse with PhD from Nigeria) (https://afrophc.org/conference-agm/agm-2022/umar-ibrahim-2/), Mr Innocent Somboi (Clinical Officer from Tanzania) (https://afrophc.org/about/innocent-somboi/) and Dr Mercy Wanjala (Family Physician from Kenya) (https://afrophc.org/conference-agm/agm-2022/mercy-wanjala-2/) [who has since resigned to become the Deputy Executive Coordinator].
We always have wonderful AfroPHC Policy Workshops. Mercy has organised several: “Point of Care Testing in African PHC” 21st June [https://afrophc.org/2022/06/20/afrophc-workshop-21st-june-labs-poct-in-african-phc/], “Onehealth n African PHC” July [https://afrophc.org/2022/07/18/afrophc-workshop-19-july-onehealth-in-african-phc/], and now plans one on “Workers Health in African PHC” 16th August [https://afrophc.org/2022/08/07/afrophc-workshop-16-aug-workers-health-in-african-phc/]. Do join us at the next one.
AfroPHC also provides great value for members at no cost: management course, research support, CPD and the development of a family medicine postgraduate diploma for doctors, nurse clinicians and clinical officers.
See below a sample of useful posts on the AfroPHC blog and keep tabs on it.
Blood Exposure Accidents among Health Care Personnel Are Africa’s health resources overly focused on HIV/AIDS? WHO publication “Implication of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Patient Safety: A Rapid Review”, Tuesday, 09 August 2022 Monkeypox declared global health emergency by WHO as cases surge LeBoHA’s June Newsletter Don’t forget to engage with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and keep in touch!
We would like to share some recent updates with you from our Department. In our last newsletter, we shared the Family Medicine Department response in February and March to the flooding victims in Southern Malawi. But this wasn’t the only opportunity our Family Medicine doctors had to extend healthcare in a disaster. In late April, two of our doctors, Dr. Catherine Hodge and registrar Dr. Antonio Giannakis, joined a team of American Family Medicine doctors to fly to Uzhhorod, Ukraine. The group ran a week of clinics for the many refugees who had fled from the southeast and middle of Ukraine due to the war raged by Russia…more
A Message from the CEO During my recent trip to the United States in May, I was honored to accept on behalf of LeBoHA the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) 2022 Innovative Program Award. The meeting in Indianapolis was a good opportunity to reconnect with many former students, residents and faculty who had previously traveled to Lesotho to work with LeBoHA. We also were able to make a presentation describing LeBoHA’s work over the last nearly 20 years. It was an honor to discuss our work with many family physicians with extensive global health who were so complementary of LeBoHA’s accomplishments. We also networked with other successful Family Medicine programs and learned new strategies to help LeBoHA grow. We also had fun presenting a Basotho hat to the president of STFM and dancing to Lesotho music while we were on the stage!…more