September 4, 2012
REPORT TO THE ANPA PRESIDENT REGARDING THE STAKEHOLDERS MEETING FOR DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR MEDICAL AND FOREIGN HEALTH MISSIONS, SIGNING OF MoU AND DISSEMINATION OF REPORT OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON NIGERIAN MEDICAL AND DENTAL CURRICULUM
Dear Mr President,
It is with pleasure that I provide this report following the meetings which you requested that I attend and provide representation on behalf of ANPA. I attended the meeting described above between September 2nd and 5th 2012, for three separate but related events shown below.
- Facilitating the development of guidelines and regulations for medical missions in Nigeria.
- Re-signing of the MoU between ANPA, MANSAG and the Federal Ministry of Health, to now include CANPAD, NANNA, and the Nurses Charitable Organization of the U.K
- Presentation of the Nigeria Undergraduate Medical and Dental Curriculum Template
The opening ceremonies held on September 2nd at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel was well attended as shown in the attached documents. Noteworthy was that the Honorable Minister for Health, the Minister of State for Health, Permanent Secretary for Health, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, as well as many Directors in the Federal Ministry of Health. Also represented were the Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVIS), Committee of Chief Medical Directors, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR). In addition, many of the stakeholder groups in health were well represented. Specifically, the representatives of Medical and Dental Council (MDCN), National Universities Commission (NUC), USAID Nigeria, House Committee on Diaspora, House Committee on Health, Senate Committee on Health, and Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In attendance were also our colleagues from MANSAG, including the President – Elect, Dr Jacob Akoh.
Regarding the stakeholders meeting to develop guidelines for foreign medical missions, the two-day session was chaired by Ambassador Joe Keshi and was also well attended with approximately 70 individuals from various institutions with interest in medical missions. These include Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA), Committee of Chief Executives of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions, NAFDAC, ANPA, MANSAG, Anambra , Lagos, Niger State Ministries of Health, MDCN, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, NMA, National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America, NNVS. I presented the ANPA experience with medical missions and recommended several additions to the new guidelines. The group identified many factors that require clarification and regulation, including Licensure, Consumables, Equipment and Logistics. A Committee was formed to execute the function of developing these guidelines. ANPA was asked to provide representation on this Committee. I will leave it to Mr President to appoint a representative to this Committee and notify the Diaspora Desk in the FMOH.
I am also pleased to report that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between ANPA, the Fed Ministry of Health and MANSAG has now been expanded to include CANPAD, National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America (NANNA), and the Nursing Charitable Organization in the UK. To build upon this, it was recommended that ANPA medical missions be coordinated with NANNNA and similar organizations to improve the effectiveness of these missions. I have asked the Executive Director of NANNNA to contact you to start discussions. I will be sending you a hard copy of the MoU, which I signed on the behalf of ANPA, shortly.
Finally, our members will be proud to know that after 19 months, the template for the Nigerian Undergraduate Medical and Dental Curriculum is complete. This 140 page document was presented at the meeting and well received and I am happy to provide copies to interested parties. The template is based on the existing curricula of the NUC and MDCN but includes input from a host of stakeholders locally and internationally. Specifically the curriculum is integrated, increases contact time between faculty and students, and builds upon existing student postings (rotations) by adding professionalism, public health and other modern concepts. The template was well received by the Honorable Minister for Health. Both the Minister of Health and the Minister of State for Health expressed great satisfaction with the work that ANPA has executed on this project. They both specifically expressed their gratitude to ANPA and hoped that they can continue to rely on our support for healthcare in Nigeria. The Minister of State for Health particularly requested Diaspora engagement in three areas; (i) Capacity Building and Exchange, (ii) Leveraging Diaspora Networks overseas, and (iii) Coaching and Mentoring of Medical Students and Young Faculty. The Minister of Health also strongly requested more additional private investment by Diaspora groups. The Ministry of Health has resuscitated the Public-Private Partnership Unit, and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GE Medical Systems. GE Medical Systems has agreed to invest with local and Diaspora partners to provide specialty medical services.
To our knowledge, no other country in sub-Saharan Africa has implemented such a process of producing a homegrown, country-wide medical curriculum template involving all stakeholders. I believe that our organization should be tremendously proud of this accomplishment, which will improve medical education in Nigeria. I beg your indulgence to send a thank you letter to ANPA members who contributed so tremendously to this process. They include Drs Igho Ofotokun, Vincent Idemyor, Eche Ezeanolue, Benedict Nwomeh, Christopher Okunseri.
I thank you for the opportunity to represent ANPA at these meetings.
Fiemu Nwariaku, MD, FACS, FWACS
Past ANPA President 2010-2012