MESSAGE FROM THE 7TH MANSAG PRESIDENT
27th OCTOBER 2018
Fellow MANSAG members,
Thank you for electing me as your 7th MANSAG President at the annual scientific meeting in Manchester in October 2018. The handover ceremony, having taken place in the city of my beloved football club, (the Red Devils with the noisy neighbour), made it a very pleasant experience. I am lucky and privileged to be supported by young, vibrant and enthusiastic 7 other members in my executive. Number 7 has been significant since ancient times with significant role in society, culture, religion and even psychology. Watch this new MANSAG executive closely.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank the outgoing executive for the smoothtransition and for the excellent job they did for MANSAG over the last 3 years despite several challenges. I pray and hope that we may build on this success over the next triennium. The next three years will be crucial in the further development of our organisation.
With Brexit in sight, many healthcare professionals outside the UK aspire to come to the UK. Informed by this and supported by the recent decision by the GMC to increase the number of candidates and centres for PLAB examination, we aim to embark on a massive recruitment drive of new members. We will also be activating some existing chapters and create new ones. However, we need to convince more colleagues in the medical and other healthcare professions such as in nursing, radiology and pharmacy etc., of the relevance of MANSAG to their professional and social needs.
I would like to take this opportunity to share the vision of my executive for the short to long term priorities for the upcoming years.
CALENDARING MANSAG ANNUAL EVENTS AND MEMBERSHIP
We have identified that our members want to have plenty of advance notice to facilitate attendance of MANSAG activities. For this reason, my executive has agreed to ‘calendar all future annual MANSAG events. The dates for main MANSAG annual events in the triennium are shown below:
DATES FOR MANSAG ANNUAL EVENTS 2018-2021
EDUCATIONAL SYMPOSIUM/CHARITY BALL
2019 SHEFFIELD 18TH MAY
2020 VENUE TBC 16TH MAY
2021 VENUE TBC 15TH MAY
ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE
LONDON 25-27TH OCT 2019
VENUE TBC 23-25TH OCT 2020
VENUE TBC 22-24TH OCT 2021
Let us make a special effort to attend MANSAG events. It is easier for us to work together if we know each other well and work as a team. This is why the executive’s inaugural meeting was a weekend retreat in Birmingham Hilton Hotel before the handover ceremony to get to know one another at no cost to MANSAG.
We cannot succeed without the support of every member and let us be MANSAG ambassadors and help with recruitment of new members. We should support MANSAG financially over and above our annual dues by making a donation to support our cause, making a sacrifice of your time and talent. Let us support other Nigerians and MANSAG members in our locality through regular social meetings. I commend those of you who have already been doing this for years.
MANSAG MEDICAL MISSION
In the past, MANSAG has conducted many valuable medical missions to Nigeria which were short-term ranging from two to four weeks. They were mainly on medical education and capacity development (information, skills and expertise) and the projects were funded in part or totally from the membership fee.
The challenge of the current arrangement is that the mission changes every year or with a change of executive, the project has been patchy, disconnected year in year out and consequently, it has produced little impact in the main. The income of MANSAG is reliant on membership dues with little or no external funding to support this important activity. We have set up a triple M thinktank (M3Thinktank) group of 6 members many of whom have contributed to MANSAG medical missions in the past. The chair of the group is Professor Dilly Anumba who is one of the past presidents. We have asked them to think outside the box and be futuristic in their approach in advancing a new strategy on a mission to Nigeria moving forward. They are due to submit their report to the executive within 6 months. The terms of reference for the M3Thinktank are:
- To examine the current and recent MANSAG medical and health missions to Nigeria in relation to structure, quality of project, funding and sustainability.
- To develop and advice the MANSAG Executive Committee regarding a financially viable, high quality and sustainable strategy for medical and health engagement with Nigeria in the short, medium and long-term.
- In specific terms, to consider a long-term project which can attract international funding and also a joint venture with sister organizations who may provide critical mass and multi-professional working to maximize measurable impact in Nigeria.
- Consider the practicalities of establishing a MANSAG Innovation Centre in Nigeria – a dedicated physical innovation centre that focusses on generating impactful new ideas in Medicine, Biomedical Engineering etc. To advise on the feasibility of the Centre focusing on high impact, strategic opportunities to produce local medical equipment, infrastructures etc. The centre should be big enough to attract international funding.
- To define criteria and terms of engagement and collaboration betwee MANSAG and other professional charities requesting joint working on specific projects in Nigeria.
- To consider and advise the Executive Committee on any other matters which the Committee opines can assist MANSAG to develop a robust medical and health engagement agenda in Nigeria.
I would like to thank all the members that have sent M3Thinktank helpful suggestions as they compile their final report. I appreciate that views may be different but we welcome divergent opinions as this will enrich an academic discussion. If you are planning to contribute to the discussion but have not done so, you can submit your views to the chair on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We employed an independent website tester to critically examine the state of our website because of the level of complaints received from members. The report was damning especially the information flow. We have started to implement changes on the website and adopting a new dynamic user-friendly and IOS and Android compatible website with different functionalities. To take this further, we have set up a METhinktank group of 4 members who are technologically savvy.
The main aim of METhinktank is to examine the current state of MANSAG EProgramme, including our website (platform, contents and navigability), the introduction of membership number, monitoring and supervision of membership fee and other electronic interactive services. The terms of reference are:
- To advise on improving MANSAG website experience (announcement of events, video displays, paying platforms such as PayPal versus Eventbrite).
- To explore our Social media interaction including Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+), Microblogging (Twitter, Tumbril), Photo sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest), Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Vimeo) and e-learning platform which can be accessed by medical schools abroad.
- To advise on modus operandi on the issuance of membership number and identity card.
152-160 City Road
As stated in our Charter, MANSAG is committed to supporting all its members in whatever circumstances they may find themselves. This commitment could take the form of assisting with identification of development needs, provision of informal mentoring, supporting members through personal family tragedies and professional difficulties etc.
Yours’ in MANSAG
Dear members and friends of MANSAG, we are approaching the end of 2016 with a sense of achievement and hope for the future of MANSAG. Our congratulations to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), ably chaired by Mr Alex Oboh for organising our well attended and highly successful 27th Annual Scientific Meeting and AGM in Hull from 21-23 October 2016. Distinguished Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Nigerian National Assembly, officially opened the meeting and gave the keynote address. He gave an illuminating speech laced with a historical perspective of the intertwining of Nigeria’s ethnic groups’ cultural and traditional beliefs with traditional medical practices. He opined that at the core of both orthodox and Nigerian traditional medicine is the desire for good health and a health system that diagnoses and treats patients appropriately without causing harm. However, he advocated a significant cultural shift in Nigeria so as not to be left behind the rest of the world or be deprived of the benefits of modern medicine with its technologies.
In keeping with our spirit of collaboration with other Diaspora Medical and Allied Healthcare Associations, we invited the Nigerian Medical Association, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas and The Canadian Association of Nigerian Physicians and Dentists. We also invited the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Cameroun Doctors United Kingdom, The Sudanese Medical Association (UK & Ireland), East African Healthcare Forum and Nigerian Radiographers in Diaspora. They were well represented by their leaders and contributed immensely to the richness
and diversity of the conference delegates and proceedings.
We have continued our advocacy work through engagement with the GMC’s BME Doctor Forum and other activities. The president attended the Forum’s meeting with Sir Keith Pearson on 15 September 2016, to discuss and make him aware of, the fundamental issues of equality and fairness in Revalidation. The discussion included the roles of the GMC, local regulation, responsible officers as well his review of revalidation.
Following the British Prime Minister’s statements to the BBC Breakfast programme on 04 October 2016 describing overseas doctors as ‘interim staff’, MANSAG joined other BME medical organisations in publishing a protest letter addressed to the UK general public, in Pulse magazine:
The president also attended the Forum’s meeting on 08 November 2016. The agenda items discussed included the 2016 data on exams and progression in medical education and training, BME doctors and international medical graduates in the GMC’s fitness to practise procedures; statistics
and trends and the findings of the Workforce Experience survey of SAS doctors. There was also a closed session exclusively for Forum members to discuss emerging developments and other issues.
We have improved our Social and Welfare procedures and do commiserate officially with our members and their families whenever we receive notice of the death of a member or a member of their family.
Our engagement with the federal and state governments and our commitment to help improve the provision of healthcare and raise healthcare standards in Nigeria continue unabated. We were pleased to be invited, along with allied health care professionals, to meet with the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Diaspora and NonGovernmental Organisations, Senator Dr Rose O.Oko and her delegation at the Nigeria High Commission
on Sunday 20 November 2016. Her delegation was pleased and honoured to engage this critical segment (with over 5000 members) and deliberate on our involvement in the development of the Nigerian health sector and economy. She mentioned that the 8th Nigerian Senate believes that the Diaspora community needs to be structured and mainstreamed into the National development agenda. Hence, she felt that this meeting offered a platform to feel the pulse of the doctors and allied healthcare professionals and identify the gaps and challenges hamstringing the efforts of this sector towards the development of our dear nation.
The meeting was well attended, productive and provided the delegation with much food for thought. The future of MANSAG rests on attracting and retaining a significant number of the younger generation.
Towards this end, we held a well-attended MANSAG NEW GENERATION networking event in London on Saturday 03 December 2016.
Happy New Year to you all
Babatunde A. Gbolade
Ibrahim I. Bolaji MBBS, FRCPI, FRCOG, PGCME, MD, LLM Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecological Surgeon / Senior Clinical Lecturer (Hons)