From the CEO's desk: Peru 2017, Dubai 2020 and more conferences

Photo: The WONCA CEO in Peru with colleagues from the WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF council

It’s been a busy month for travel, with trips to Dubai and Peru.

Abu Dhabi 2020

I was in Dubai for a meeting of the Conference Planning Committee for the 2020 conference. Dr Mohamed Farghaly represented the Emirates Society, whilst Medhat Nasser was from Meeting Minds, the Professional Conference Organizer (PCO). We had very useful discussions, and I was briefed on plans so far in terms of venues, timings and committees.

The HOC has established an impressive international academic advisory group, including several WONCA ex-Presidents, which will help to ensure an interesting and varied and robust conference programme. The conference will be held in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and we have agreed that the WONCA Executive meeting and World Council meeting will also be at the same venue. There are a number of hotels on site, in various price ranges, so everyone should easily find accommodation to suit their pocket.

The Executive meeting will be on 19 and 20 November 2020, with regional meetings on 21 November before leading into Council from 22 to 24 November. Working Party and Special Interest Group meetings are scheduled for 25 November.

Finally, the 2020 world conference will be held from evening of 25 November through to 29 November.

WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF conference

August saw regional conferences in both the Africa and Iberoamericana regions, unfortunately at exactly the same time. As a result, Amanda Howe went to Pretoria, in South Africa, whilst I flew to Lima, Peru, to join friends and colleague in the Iberoamericana Region.

I had an opportunity to attend a part of the Iberoamericana-CIMF Council meeting as well as to attend, and participate in, the conference itself. During the Council meeting, Jacqueline Ponzo of Uruguay was confirmed as the new regional President-Elect, taking over from Inez Padula at the October 2018 World Council, whilst Thomas Meoño Martín of Costa Rica was confirmed as CEO-elect of the region. Mexico was chosen to host the 2019 Iberoamericana conference.

Photo; Garth Manning left with Jaqueline Ponzo and Thomas Meoño Martín

The conference itself was the usual lively event, with over 1,400 delegates from 20 countries, and with up to 12 parallel sessions on each of the days and with some great plenaries. I met with many old friends and made a few new ones along the way, and it was also wonderful to welcome some medical student colleagues from IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations). It’s really important to encourage the next generation of students and to get them involved in family medicine events, so that they can see that family medicine is a lively and interesting career option.

Many congratulations to Sofia Cuba, Chair of the HOC, Victor Manchego, President of the Peruvian Society of Family and Community Medicine, Inez Padula, Regional President, and to all their colleagues who worked so hard to make this a memorable event.

WONCA Asia Pacific and South Asia Region conferences

Even though we’re now into September, there are still two key events in the WONCA conference calendar.

From 1 to 4 November, WONCA Asia Pacific Region will hold its conference in Pattaya, Thailand. Several of the WONCA Executive will attend and it promises to be a great event, in a great location.

Then later in November – from 25 to 26 – WONCA South Asia Region’s conference will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal hosted an impressive event in 2011, and this one promises to be even bigger and better.

Full details of these events, and all other WONCA conferences, can be found at the WONCA website.

Until next month.
Dr Garth Manning
CEO