Chairmans Message

KAP Annual Scientific Conference. Mombasa, March - 2010

The Chief Guest Dr. J. A. Aluoch, Colleagues Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to be here at this 14Th Annual Scientific Conference of Kenya Association of Physicians. What gratifies me most is noticing many young physicians in the audience. We need to keep on mentoring and roping in our younger colleagues if KAP is to remain a formidable force in this country.

Kenya Association of Physicians (KAP) was inaugurated on 23rd October 1992.  For over three decades, prior to 1992, the professional and social interests of physicians in Kenya were taken care of by The Association of Physicians in East and Central Africa (APECA).  Interested physicians were affiliated to APECA. Membership of APECA was broad; it included pediatricians, dermatologists, clinical pathologists and psychiatrists amongst other medical specialties. In the period between 1982 and 1992 APECA was dormant.

The then young physicians who included Dr. J.A Aluoch, Dr. J. Okanga, Prof. Lore Prof. A. Abdullah, Dr. J. N. Walumbe and the late Dr. Eric Mngola; the late Professors Ogada and Ojiambo amongst others founded The Kenya Association of Physicians. In his inaugural address as the Keynote speaker, Dr. Koinange summarized his speech thus “the young Association should ensure that physicians are adequately trained and qualified”.

Dr. J.A. Aluoch in his inaugural address as the founder Chairman stressed the same. He said; “post-graduate medical training and for that matter medical training in general cannot be left to the faculty of medicine alone”. All physicians must be involved. He noted that there was dire need to form a College of Physicians as had been the case in South Africa, West Africa and of course in the UK and the Americas. Two decades down the road we are still grappling with this noble idea.

There is truly a need to form a College of Physicians in Kenya; more so now when we have several training points for post-graduate students in Internal Medicine. A College would streamline and become a benchmark regulatory body that would harmonize training for our young physicians. We cannot let this dream die. My appeal would be to the young physicians to aggressively get involved in the activities of Kenya Association of Physicians.

The number of physicians has steadily increased over the years. It is, however, sad to note that the current list of Medical Practitioners’ and Dentists Board has two hundred and eleven (211) Physicians in Kenya; however, only forty five (45) of these are bonafide members of KAP as at the close of 2009. My earnest appeal is that let us all get involved in the affairs of KAP. We have strength in numbers. One would like Kenya Association of Physicians and indeed other professional bodies, to get more involved in health matters of Kenyans and those living in its environs.

It is not unusual to hear information concerning health matters; that may not be factual nor based on evidence; being presented in print and/or electronic media and yet as physicians we remain silent. Those passing inaccurate information about say management of hypertension or diabetes may be regulated under different legislation. However, our role would not be to take them head-on but to pass parallel and accurate information that is evidence based as regards medical practice, in a language wananchi would understand and let wananchi make informed choices. We would be failing in our noble duty if we did not intervene.

Today, we are going to launch the Kenya Association of Physicians Website; it is my hope that this means of interaction with other physician colleagues and the public would assist us bridge some of these glaring gaps in our mutual interaction. We cannot afford to fail in adequately training our younger colleagues and appropriately informing the public. Let us join KAP as bonafide members and make a difference in whatever way we can as individuals and an association.

Thank you.

I would now invite our distinguished Chief Guest Dr. J.A. Aluoch; he needs no introduction at all. Welcome Dr. Aluoch.

J.O.JOWI
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN
KENYA ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICIANS (KAP)