Cyril Ramaphosa: Born in Chiawelo, W11

7b022e77efdf49749a60f6e0c3df0fb0In high school, Cyril Ramaphosa used to sing, dance and preach, which earned him the chairpersonship of the Students’ Christian Movement.

When he arrived at Mphaphuli High School in Grade 11 in 1970, his eloquence and command of English saw him trump the matrics to become chairperson of the debating society.

One of those matrics, at the school in Sibasa outside Thohoyandou, was advocate Maele Mushasha. He shared a hostel dormitory with the newly-elected leader of the ANC…..more


WONCA News December 2017

Wonca | Global Family Doctor Newsletter
WONCA News December 2017
We have some very exicting news items this month, most notably, the first Young Doctors’ Movements newsletter, with news from all regions collated by Ana Nunes Barata. The other notable item is that having covered myself as featured doctor last month, this month we also finally find out more about our CEO, Garth Manning (some do not know he is a medical doctor). Also featured is Adam Windak who leads the scientific committee for Krakow 2018. And of course there is much more.

A reminder that  number of the 2018 conferences have deadlines in December for abstract submission or Early Bird registration. So please check the conference items soon if you are interested in Delhi, Kuwait, Krakow or our World conference in Seoul.

At this time of year I take the opportunity to send the compliments of the season and a very Happy New Year to all.

Karen Flegg. WONCA Editor

Featured Stories

From the President: December 2017

As the Western calendar year draws to a close, I hope this finds you well and that family medicine is thriving in your country. On behalf of all of us in the WONCA World Executive and Secretariat, I want to wish you and your families a peaceful and successful year ahead for 2018.

From the CEO’s desk: conferences recent & future, & season’s greetings

As forecast in last month’s column, November has been a month of conferences and conference activities. The WONCA CEO reports on conferences in Thailland, Nepal and thinks forward to the 2018 World conference in Korea.

Policy Bite: Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

This WHO forum, held from November 13-17, 2017, in Dublin Ireland, was attended on behalf of WONCA by three members of our World Executive (Anna Stavdal, Job Metsemakers, and Ana Nunes Barata for our Young Doctors’ Movement), and a number of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice leaders.

Young Doctors’ Movements news – December 2017

As a new initiative, WONCA’s Young Doctors’ representative on World Executive, Ana Nunes Barata (Portugal), is coordinating regular news from our seven region Young Doctors’ Movements. Not every region’s movement will always provide news but each two months we hope to bring you news from some of the regions.

Bhutan becomes WONCA Academic Member

Dr Chhabi Lal Adhikari, Professor and GP Course Coordinator, Department of General Practice at Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan writes on the journey that has led to Bhutan’s first GP specialist training programme and then to that programme becoming a WONCA Academic Member Organization.

WONCA in Bonn: Health and the climate negotiations

Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century–and tackling it is perhaps our best opportunity to better global health. How are current medical learners and health professionals interacting with international climate change negotiations?


De la Presidenta –
diciembre 2017

Fragmentos de política: Recursos Humanos para la Salud


De la Présidente -décembre

WHO liaison

WHO Montevideo Roadmap 2018-2030 on NCDs

Region news

James & Leslie Rourke- 5-Star Doctor

Tai-Yuan Chiu – 5-Star Doctor

Art meets science meets art at WONCA Europe 2017

Dr Innocent Besigye – Montegut Scholar

Featured Doctors


Prof Adam WINDAK – Poland

Conference 2018 deadlines

World conference 2018 Seoul

2018 Rural conference abstracts close soon

Kraków – we hear from Adam Windak


Experts Consultation on Family Practice in Eastern Mediterranean Region 12-13 December 2017 Cairo – Egypt


Resolution WHA69.24 “Strengthening integrated, people-centred health services [IPCHS]” was endorsed by the 69th session of WHA held in May 2016. The IPCHS resolution urged Member States to implement, as appropriate, the framework of action and make health care systems more responsive to people’s needs. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region Office [EMRO] this strategy is operationalized through scaling up service delivery through the Family Practice [FP] program.

Resolution EM/RC63/R.31, October 2016, was endorsed by the Regional Committee following the technical discussion paper “Scaling up Family Practice: progressing towards universal health coverage2”. The resolution, among other actions, requested the Regional Director to establish a group of experts for technical support of FP scaling-up in the region.

To raise policymakers’ awareness and provide evidence-based information on family practice situation in the region, WHO EMRO has accomplished several assessments, training of trainers workshops have been conducted at regional level and in the countries, and a number of resource materials have been developed including training manuals and operational guides, FP country profiles and advocacy videos. See attached list of publications.


The overall objective of the Expert Consultation is to provide strategic advice on scaling-up of family practice to help countries accelerate progress towards the achievement of universal health coverage. The specific objectives of the experts’ consultation are:

 To advise on strategic directions for scaling up of family physicians in EMR in the context of the technical paper presented on the subject in the 63rd RC;

 Provide high level technical guidance on the WHO online training of general practitioners in Family Medicine;

 Share global and regional perspectives on best practices related to family practice and recommend how these can be adapted to the region;

 Advise on developing and strengthening partnerships with institutions within and outside the region, and in resource mobilization for scaling-up of family practice;

Expected outcomes:

 Identify practical steps to implement WHO/EMRO resolutions on scaling up family practice.

 Agree on the framework of action for scale up family practice implementation in the EMR.

 Identify actions to overcome gap in family physicians productions.

Target Participants

Limited group of regional and international experts in family practice/primary health care from Bahrain, Brazil, Iran, Ireland, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, United Kingdom, South Africa, WHO EMRO and HQ.

WHO EMRO 2014 Approach to Family Practice

WHO EMRO 2016 Resolutions re Family Practice

WHO EMRO 2016 Technical Paper re Family Practice


WONCA E-Update Friday 8th December 2017

WONCA E-Update
Friday 8th December 2017

WONCA News – November 2017
The latest WONCA News (November 2017) is still accessible via the WONCA website, with lots of WONCA news, views and events. As ever, many articles also appear in Spanish and French. December’s WONCA News will appear over the weekend of 15/16 December.

WONCA Working Party on the Environment: Planetary Health in South America

In August’s WONCA News we included a report from Ralph Guggenheim about using WONCA conferences to promote the issue of planetary health, and he reported on his experiences at WONCA Europe in Prague. Now Paola Rava Dellepiane, WONCA Working Party on the Environment member, writes more on this issue, and describes her experiences at the WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF Conference, in Lima, Perú, from 17th to 20th  August, 2017. The article also refers to WONCA’s Policy Statement on Planetary Health, which was endorsed by WONCA Executive at its April 2017 meeting.

WONCA and One Health
Remaining on an environmental theme, a reminder that WONCA is a partner with the One Health Initiative. One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment. We’re proud to be one of a long and prestigious list of supporters, and encourage anyone with an interest in health and the environment to access their website for further information.

“Between animal and human medicine there are no dividing lines–nor should there be. The object is different but the experience obtained constitutes the basis of all medicine.”
Rudolf Virchow, MD (the father of cellular pathology)

Education for Primary Care (EPC) – free access article on health promotion in medical education
Professor Val Wass, Chair of WONCA’s Working Party on Education and Editor of EPC, has informed us that this month there is free access to an important article in EPC on “Health promotion in medical education: lessons from a major undergraduate curriculum implementation” by Ann Wylie and Kathleen Leedham-Green. The article can be freely accessed at

WONCA Rural Health Conference April 2018 – Abstract deadline 31st December
A further reminder that the 15th WONCA Rural Health conference will take place in New Delhi, India, from 26th to 29th April 2018. Registration and abstract submission are both now open, but please note that the last date for abstract submission is 31st December. We especially encourage young doctors and medical students to join this event, which is also open to NGOs, nurses and other health professionals.

WONCA Featured Doctor – Dr Anwar AlNajjar (Kuwait)

This month one of WONCA’s Featured Doctors is Dr Anwar AlNajjar of Kuwait, who is President of the WONCA Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) conference to be held in Kuwait from 1st to 3rd March 2018. She is a Family Medicine Consultant working in a Primary Health Center (PHC) and is also the Director of the General Practitioner Training Program which is newly established in Kuwait to be parallel to Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP). This program is ensuring higher standards of general practitioners working in PHC and to promote the services provided by them.

She is a trainer and examiner in the Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) that is part of Faculty of Primary Care and is also assistant exam convener of the simulated surgery exam in the program. Read more of her story at:

Even with easy access to ARVs, only one in three HIV-positive people will seek them

SA’s policy to reduce HIV infections is to do what the UN recommends‚ which is to get 90% of people tested‚ 90% of HIV-positive people taking antiretrovirals and 90% of those on treatment taking it properly so they are not infectious. This will ultimately decrease the rate of new infections.

But a study of 27‚000 people in Hlabisa in rural KwaZulu-Natal shows that even if you make it easy for people to test for HIV and to gain access to treatment‚ most people will not make use of those facilities‚ especially men……moremore


Torticollis – another name for having a ‘twisted neck’ or a ‘wry neck’ – often happens suddenly. You go to bed without any symptoms one night and then you simply wake up the following morning with a wry neck. This is known as acute torticollis.

It is a very common cause of neck pain and stiffness. However, although it can be very painful when you are affected by it, most people with the condition do not actually need to see their doctor, as simple treatment such as painkillers can be really effective. ….more

South Africans with HIV miss out on the benefits of early treatment due to a fear of stigma

Antiretrovirals—the drugs used to keep HIV in check—don’t only prevent people from getting AIDS; they also keep virus levels low, making those taking them less likely to pass the infection to others.

This phenomenon has opened a new avenue for the fight against HIV: Treatment as Prevention.

Since 2015 the World Health Organization has been urging countries to offer ARTs immediately to people who test positive, instead of waiting for their immune systems to deteriorate beyond a set point. In this ‘test and treat’ scenario, the theory goes, more people will have suppressed viral loads, which means there will be less transmission, ultimately leading to less HIV all round. ….more

Health workforce and governance: the crisis in Nigeria



In Nigeria, several challenges have been reported within the health sector, especially in training, funding, employment, and deployment of the health workforce. We aimed to review recent health workforce crises in the Nigerian health sector to identify key underlying causes and provide recommendations toward preventing and/or managing potential future crises in Nigeria.


We conducted a scoping literature search of PubMed to identify studies on health workforce and health governance in Nigeria. A critical analysis, with extended commentary, on recent health workforce crises (2010–2016) and the health system in Nigeria was conducted.


The Nigerian health system is relatively weak, and there is yet a coordinated response across the country. A number of health workforce crises have been reported in recent times due to several months’ salaries owed, poor welfare, lack of appropriate health facilities and emerging factions among health workers. Poor administration and response across different levels of government have played contributory roles to further internal crises among health workers, with different factions engaged in protracted supremacy challenge. These crises have consequently prevented optimal healthcare delivery to the Nigerian population.


An encompassing stakeholders’ forum in the Nigerian health sector remain essential. The national health system needs a solid administrative policy foundation that allows coordination of priorities and partnerships in the health workforce and among various stakeholders. It is hoped that this paper may prompt relevant reforms in health workforce and governance in Nigeria toward better health service delivery in the country.


Health workforceHealth crisisHealth governanceHealth systemNigeria

Open access article publishing charges for researchers based in EIFL network countries

If you are based in one of the EIFL network countries listed below the following article publishing charge discounts or waivers can be used by you to publish in many of our pure open access (OA) journals. Check the complete list of participating OA journals and find out more about our EIFL OA agreement on Taylor & Francis’ Author Services website.

Country APC Armenia $250 Azerbaijan $250 Belarus $250 Bosnia and Herzegovina $250 Botswana $250 Cambodia Full waiver Congo (Democratic Republic) $250 Estonia $250 Ethiopia Full waiver Fiji $250 Georgia $250 Ghana Full waiver Kenya Full waiver Kosovo $250 Kyrgyzstan Full waiver Laos Full waiver Latvia $250 Lesotho Full waiver Lithuania $250 Macedonia $250 Malawi Full waiver Maldives $250 Moldova $250 Myanmar Full waiver Namibia Full waiver Nepal Full waiver Palestine $250 Senegal Full waiver Serbia $250 Tanzania Full waiver Thailand $250 Uganda Full waiver Ukraine $250 Uzbekistan Full waiver Zambia Full waiver Zimbabwe Full waiver

WONCA E-Update Friday 1st December 2017

WONCA E-Update
Friday 1st December 2017

WONCA News – November 2017
The latest WONCA News (November 2017) is still accessible via the WONCA website, with lots of WONCA news, views and events. As ever, many articles also appear in Spanish and French. December’s WONCA News will appear over the weekend of 15/16 December.

Policy Bite: Rural priorities and progress in Australia
This month’s Policy Bite looks at the work of WONCA’s Working Party on Rural Practice, and in particular some recent developments in Australia.

The Working Party’s vision is “health for all rural people around the world”, and, as for WONCA as a whole, one of the key aims of their advocacy is to ensure governments recognise the importance of family medicine and its rural and remote workforce. It is therefore a source of celebration that Prof Paul Worley, a member of the WONCA Rural Working Party, has been appointed as the first Rural Health Commissioner of Australia.

You can read much more on Paul, and his new role, on the WONCA website, and can also view a YouTube video of his inspiring inaugural speech:

WONCA Working Party on Education at APR Conference
In this month’s WONCA News, Prof Val Wass, Chair of the WONCA Working Party on Education reports on the groups’ activities at the recent WONCA Asia Pacific Region conference.  She led a series of workshops at the Pattaya conference, in collaboration with a number of colleagues including Professor Nobutaro Ban (Japan) and Drs Eva Irene Maglonzo (Philippines), Victor Ng (Canada), Hashmet Parveen (Brunei) and Chandramani Thuraisingham (Malaysia).  Topics of the workshops included: The Undergraduate (UG) Curriculum; Continuous Professional Development (CPD); and Formative Assessment.  You can read more of the report at:

PCI GP Update Global Programme 2018 
WONCA has an association with Primary Care International (PCI) which is the only organisation accredited by the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) to deliver primary care updates specifically developed for family doctors practising internationally. PCI’s GP Update Global Programme 2018, to be held at the Wellcome Trust in London from 16-20 April, has been awarded 30 CPD credits by RSM in accordance with its current guidelines. Further details, including how to book early bird tickets (deadline 15th December), are at

The course is a unique opportunity open to GPs/family doctors practising outside of the UK to network with colleagues from around the world. It will bring delegates up to speed on all the latest evidence-based updates in primary care – and offers 30 hours of consecutive learning (30 CPD credits).

Feedback from the last course was incredibly positive: 100% of delegates said that they would come again and would recommend it to colleagues.