THE ASSOCIATION OF NEUROSURGICAL SOCIETIES OF AFRICA (ANSA) IS BORN
E-Mail Contact - THE ASSOCIATION OF NEUROSURGICAL SOCIETIES OF AFRICA (ANSA) IS BORN :
On the 1st of October 2007, delegates from various African countries met in Yaounde, Cameroon in the Hotel Mont Febe for this event.
The Agenda was as follow:
a) Keynote address by Professor Dechambenoit Gilbert
b) Discussion and certification of the ANSA draft constitution.
c) Elections of the executive committee members of ANSA
e) Launching of ANSA
The meeting was chaired by Professor Loembe from Gabon. The proceedings were recorded by Dr Zunon Kipre from Ivory Coast, Dr Kabre Abel from Burkina Faso and Prof. Dechambenoit from Ivory Coast.
The opening remarks by Professor Dechambenoit:
In his introduction, Professor Dechambenoit summarized the history of ANSA and explained how it eventually got to Cameroon. The idea of establishing a Pan African group in neurological surgery has always been of interest to members of PAANS who are neurological surgeons. In 1999 during the first neurosurgical course organised by WFNS in Africa which was held in Harare- Zimbabwe, Professor Kalangu who was hosting this course introduced this idea to create an African neurosurgical body. The idea was well received in principle by African neurosurgeons who were present and to name few of them there were Prof. Seydou Badiane from Senegal, Prof.Dechambenoit from Ivory Coast, Dr Wandja from Cameroon, Prof. Jonathan Peter from Cape Town, South Africa, Prof. Adelola Adeloye from Nigeria/Malawi and other members which names cannot be remembered just now. The idea was further discussed in all subsequent PAANS congresses which were held in Lilongwe-Malawi 2000, Cairo-Egypt 2002 and Cotonou-Benin 2004. In June 2005 at the Congress of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies in Marrakech, Morocco, African neurosurgeons present held a meeting to discuss further this idea and proposed the way forward. Two committees were nominated, one headed by Professor Adelola Adeloye to draw up a draft constitution and a steering committee headed by Professor Ohaegbulam and assisted by Professor Shokunbi and Professor Dechambenoit to propose a mechanism for establishing this body. At this occasion, Professor Kalangu who was the secretary for this meeting and being also the current General Secretary of PAANS produced a draft constitution for action. Unfortunately and for various reasons nothing happened until the PAANS Meeting which was held recently in 2006, Lagos (Niogeria). The initial meeting was convened by Professor Kalangu, Professor Olumide and Professor El Khamlichi who discussed, together with other members, further the draft constitution which was previously produced by Professor Kalangu. This meeting took place in Lagos on the 8th of August 2006. After a long debate and discussion, the group decided that the document should be forwarded to yet another Steering Committee for further analysis and that the committee should report back to another meeting of the group to be convened the next day. The Steering Committee met the evening of the 8th of August 2006. And this committee suggested the following:
Draft constitution was a useful template which needed to be modified to reflect the uniqueness of our organisation and a few recommendations also were suggested.
1. The association should be named the Association of Neurosurgical Societies of Africa (ANSA).
2. The organisation should consist of national societies of neurological surgeons as well as individual neurosurgeons in countries where the number of neurosurgeons does not permit creation of an association.
3. Each national society would have two delegates and one alternate delegate in the association. There is no limit to the number of individual members from any country that can be admitted to membership.
4. The next step of the establishment of the association would be
a) A revised draft constitution to be prepared and circulated to African neurosurgeons via electronic mail within the next three months.
b) The delegates meeting should be convened within six months.
c) An executive committee should be formed
d) The World Federation of Neurosurgical Society should be notified after the executive committee has been formed.
e) The first international conference to be held in July 2007.
Unfortunately the committee composed by Samuel Ohaegbulam (chairman), Temitayo Shokunbi , Gilbert Dechambenoit, Abdessamad El Ouahabi could not keep the dates.
Professor Dechambenoit went on and emphasized the fact that the creation of ANSA was of paramount importance for the growth of neurosurgery in Africa and for the recognition of the African neurosurgeons in the world at large. For instance there will be a meeting of neurosurgeons in Nagoya, Japan and the decisions will be made there for the future of neurosurgery in the world and it cannot be accepted that Africa should be absent in these discussions. It was therefore urgent and imperative to create ANSA. The idea of working on the constitution and making it possibly perfect is honourable but not practical and it was felt that the important thing was to start our association and improve our constitution on the way.
Several locations to hold the meeting were suggested: Morocco and Algeria graciously offered to host this meeting. Offers came also from Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Ethiopia.
The majority of African neurosurgeons opted for Cameroon for the following reasons:
– Cameroon was centrally located and therefore easy to reach by airplane
– WFNS course was being organised in Yaounde and there were several neurosurgeons who were going there in anyway. This would reduced to cost for travelling by avoiding several journeys in a short period of time.
– Because of minimal resources we have in Africa, it was impossible to a majority of neurosurgeons to attend the delegates meeting in Nairobi to discuss the constitution and later participate to a congress for launching ANSA.
– The President of WFNS would be present for the course and it was the best opportunity to have him and other members of WFNS as observers and key witnesses in launching ANSA.
Prof. Dechambenoit concluded by wishing all the best to all members present.
Prof. Loembe announced that the only item for that day was the discussion of the draft constitution. All members had received a copy of the constitution and the following changes were suggested:
1. The association is to be called Association of Neurosurgical Societies of Africa
2. The logo to incorporate the map of the world but zooming on Africa
3. Languages of the association would be English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. However for practical reasons English should be the main language to be utilized.
4. The President would remain in office for Three (3) years renewable once only.
5. All other members of the Executive committee would remain in office for a period of four (4) years renewable once only.
6. The constitution was open to discussion even in the future and further changes were possible according to the rules of the bylaws.
There being no further business that day, the meeting was called off at 19.30 hrs .
On Thursday 4th October 2007, all delegates met again at 08.00 am.
1. Adoption of the constitution
2. Election of members of the Executive committee
3. Launching of ANSA.
The meeting was again chaired by Prof. Loembe.
The constitution was adopted by all members present.
A call for Candidates for the Executive committee to come forward particularly for the Presidency. No candidate came forward.
The meeting was suspended for about 20 minutes to allow the President of the session to consult further the assembly. The meeting was again reconvened and Professor Loembe announced that after discussing with the majority of members who were present, everybody felt that Professor Kalangu should be the candidate for the post of President. Prof. Kalangu was asked to give his opinion: he thanked all colleagues for trusting and added that he was not really his intention to become the President and that the work he has done was meant to prepare the best terrain for ANSA to start. At this stage, Prof Loembe asked Prof. Kalangu to vacate the room for an election. Professor Kalangu was elected unanimously by all members present and he accepted the post of president of ANSA. Other members elected were: Jonathan Peter as Vice President (he later declined the position) , Momar Codé BA (Secretary), Nii Andrews (Assistant secretary), Samuel Wandja (Treasurer), Abel Kabre (Assistant treasurer), Gilbert Dechambenoit (Editor).
Launching of ANSA:
The following guests were present:
– Prof. Brotchi (President WFNS)
– His Excellency the Minister of High Education
– His Excellency the Minister of Health
– Prof. De Souza (Chairman of the education committee of WFNS)
– Prof. Choux (former chairman of the education committee of WFNS faculty member)
– Prof. Bricolo (WFNS faculty member)
– Prof. Arraez (WFNS faculty member)
Professor Kalangu in his capacity as the newly elected President of ANSA made an opening remark by thanking all members who trusted him. He added that it took it as a major responsibility which would require a lot of energy and that this association was opened to all Africans. The main priorities would be a) training of young neurosurgeons b) updating those who are already trained to keep the African neurosurgical standard very high c) to equip African neurosurgeons d) to encourage African research.. He thanked all members of WFNS who were present for their unconditional support during all this years.
Professor Brotchi in speech as the President of WFNS was delighted to witness the birth of ANSA. He emphasized the importance of this organisation in the development of neurosurgery in Africa and that he was keen to help the continent. In fact, another WFNS course was already booked for June 2008 in Dakar. Prof. Brotchi added that he had full faith in Africans and he was certain than this was a real success.
Both Ministers was delighted to see that the birth of this continental organisation took place in Cameroon where in fact the first national congress neurosurgical meeting was taking place as well.
This ceremony ended at 12.30 hrs and there being no other business, the meeting was closed.
In November, ANSA was fully registered with WFNS in Nagoya.