The African Regional Meeting (ARM) is a meeting of medical students across the African Region, one of the 5 regions within the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). The 14th of its kind was hosted in Ghana for the first time ever in KNUST, Kumasi.
The meeting, with the theme; Rural and Remote healthcare: increasing quality and accessibility to reach everyone everywhere, brought together over 120 medical students from 12 countries including Rwanda, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Sudan, Cameroon etc. In attendance were officials from the IFMSA and the Regional team i.e. Vice Presidents for members and capacity building, liaison officer for human rights and peace, the SCORA director, the general assistant, development assistants etc.
The meeting which is divided into the pre-ARM and the ARM occurred between 15th and 22nd December 2018 with the pre-ARM being mainly workshops and trainings and the ARM, committee and presidents’ sessions. The following workshops/trainings occurred during the pre-ARM; Training New Trainers (TNT), Public Health Leadership Training (PHLT) and IPAS training.
The opening ceremony was on the 18th of December at the Great Hall of KNUST and it was chaired by Prof. Ellis Owusu-Dabo (MD), who represented the vice chancellor of KNUST. Other dignitaries in attendance were Dr. Joseline Doe of WHO, Prof. Samson Antwi, HoD for paediatrics, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and lecturers from the school of medical sciences, KNUST. The colourful event was also graced by representatives from sister associations such as the Pharmacy, Nursing and Veterinary Students Associations in addition to the SRC vice president and its leadership. The main speakers at the opening ceremony were the Chairman, the Organizing Committee Chairman Delanyo Amuzu, the FGMSA president Kennedy Ngaaso, the IFMSA Vice President for members Fabrizzio Canaval and the general assistant for Africa Stephen Djanie. The FGMSA Vice president Juliet Zon gave the vote of thanks on the night.
The theme event was a panel discussion chaired by Prof. Peter Donkor a research scholar and trauma surgeon at KATH. Other panelists were Dr. Ernest Kwarko a family life expert and public interest advocate, Dr Ayisi-Boateng a trial clinician of the KNUST hospital and president of AfriWon and Mr. Kwame Peprah deputy executive secretary of the pharmaceutical society of Ghana. Students had the opportunity to ask and have their questions addressed on very relevant rural health issues.
The activities presentations saw FGMSA and NiMSA Nigeria present projects undertaken by them in the administrative year. A few of our members, Enu Otsyina, Bismark Adu-Appiah, Klenam Ahlijah and other participants of the meeting sessions from other countries were duly awarded for their active roles.
This regional meeting was one of the largest, entertaining and most successful meetings the African region of IFMSA ever had. The entire event came to an end with a closing ceremony at the engineering guest house on the 22nd December 2018.