Pathologists have called for improved training, mentorship and partnerships to help spur medical care in the region.
The pathologists made the call at the just-concluded meeting of the Association of Pathologists of East, Central and Southern Africa (APECSA) in Kigali yesterday.
While presiding over the graduation of 46 fellows from the College of Pathologist of East, Central and Sothern Africa (COPECSA), Jeanine Condo, the director-general of Rwanda Biomedical Centre, urged the graduates to take it upon themselves to train junior colleagues for improved knowledge and quality health care, especially in the laboratory medicine.
The conferment of COPESCA fellows marked the last event of the three-day APECSA conference, which has been taking place in Kigali since Monday.
The meeting brought together about 200 physicians and medical experts from the region and beyond to deliberate on the laboratory practice and teaching in the APECSA region under the theme, “Resetting the pathology agenda in the East, Central and Southern Africa.”
The meeting also coincided with the 25th anniversary of APECSA.
“A lot is needed in terms of mentorship and support to the young doctors. We have to make COPECSA a successful initiative, by transferring the knowledge and expertise to the next generation for quality medical care,” Condo told COPECSA graduates.
“This is one of the opportunities to engage further in this type of medical discipline. We need to you ensure that all the young people out there have all the support needed.”
The Kigali conferment of COPECSA fellows marked the second graduation ceremony of the young-but-steadily growing college of pathologists. The first graduation took place in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2014, with 64 fellows conferred upon with certificates that allow them to freely work and train pathologists within the APECSA member states.
Dr Fabien Ntaganda is the only Rwandan who graduated yesterday.
Prof. Ephata Kaaya, the vice-chancellor of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, and president of COPECSA, said the body “has come a long way” from a humble beginning in 2010 to the big college it is today.
He emphasised the need to improve laboratory medicine for quality healthcare.
“Our expectations from our fellows, is that after receiving these certificates, we hope you will light the torch of the college and make sure that the college is indeed achieving its intended objectives,” Kaaya said.
Dr Edwin Walong, from University of Nairobi, Kenya, and one of the fellows who graduated yesterday, told The New Times that, “It was a great work done and were now looking to the future.”
This will allow me to work not only in Kenya but throughout APECSA member states, sharing knowledge and expertise for quality medical care,” he said.
Meanwhile, the next APECSA conference will be held in Madagascar, two years from now, according to the organisers.