FIMA’s International Congress on “Health in Africa” Held in Istanbul


35th Scientific Congress of the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) themed “Health in Africa” was held in Istanbul on the 20-21st of July 2017 in collaboration with Turkish Ministry of Health, Hayat Foundation and Istanbul Medeniyet University. The largest ever activity of Muslim physicians in the history of FIMA, the congress brought together doctors from 50 IMAs and FIMA member bodies. The Congress was preceded by the FIMA Council Meeting and FIMA Youth Camp for medical and allied health students. During FIMA’s Council Meeting held on the 19th of July, our Rector Prof. M. İhsan Karaman, M.D. was selected as the term president of the Federation.

With about 500 international participants, the Congress on “Health in Africa” gathered FIMA members, government representatives, decision makers, NGO members, relief organizations and academics from all over the world. The conference was very successful in bringing together both African and non-African qualified individuals and representatives to discuss health issues and solutions in Africa, providing reliable information for effective future action, and developing academic, social and cultural relations.

A wide range of topics were discussed at the Congress in six sessions including Health Challenges in Africa and the Way Forward; Modernization, Globalization and Health in the African Context; Africa and Humanitarian and Healthcare Aid; Health Education in Africa; The Organization of Health in Africa; and finally Turkey and Africa.

Karaman: “Turkey has become the leading partner of Africa”

In his opening speech during the first morning of the Congress on the 20th of July, Rector Prof. M. İhsan Karaman welcomed the participants as the new president of FIMA and underlined that hunger has been on the rise in Africa while the rest of the world lives in abundance and luxury. He said: “Ready for solidarity and stronger cooperation, our country has become the leading partner of Africa, particularly in the health sector. We sincerely hope that this cooperation and solidarity will continue until the very moment when poverty is completely eradicated from the surface of the Continent.” Providing brief information about the global activities of FIMA and Hayat Foundation, Prof. Karaman expressed his wish that the Congress on “Health in Africa” would bear fruitful results for our countries and humanity.

Please click here to read the full speech by our Rector.

July 15th: “An act of heroism and an example to the world”

In the following speeches, Dr. Tanveer'ul Hasan Zubairi of FIMA first came to the stage and gave information about the Federation’s global activities. He was followed by other African authorities who talked about the condition of healthcare services in Africa and Turkey’s contribution to health in their respective countries. African authorities including Fawziya Abikar Nur, Minister of Health of Somalia, Bahar İdriss Abu Garda, Minister of Health of Sudan, Sarah Achieng Opendi, Minister of Health of Uganda, and Amira Mohammed Al-Fadıl of African Union did not forget to include support messages to Turkey about July 15th, which they described as an act of heroism on the part of Turkish people and an example to the world.

Ogutken: “We want to cooperate with African countries for a healthier world”

In the last speech of the opening session, Ahmet Baha Ogutken, Deputy Minister of Health, provided detailed information and statistics about the recent developments in Turkey’s health care sector, noting that Turkey has achieved a phenomenal success by attaining WHO’s health parameters for 2025 already in 2007. In this regard, he focused on the unprecedented growth in healthcare staff and healthcare facilities in Turkey since 2002, as well as on the emergency aid programs and the large-scale support we lend to more than 20 countries in the world to strengthen their healthcare systems. The Deputy Minister of Health finally expressed our country’s wish to cooperate with African countries for a healthier world.

The opening session was followed by a total of 90 speakers addressing to an audience of about 600 people in 22 sessions for 2 days. In addition to the ministers of health from 5 African countries and 3 deputy ministers of health, academics, NGO representatives, diplomats, bureaucrats, healthcare professionals and representatives of international organizations working in Africa delivered presentations during the congress. Our faculty participating the Congress as either chairmen and/or speakers included Rector Prof. M. İhsan Karaman, M.D., Vice-Rector Prof. Fahri Ovalı, M.D., Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kavas, PhD, Dean of our Faculty of Political Sciences, and Prof. Dr. Orhan Alimoğlu, M.D., Prof. Dr. Handan Ankaralı, M.D., and Assoc. Prof. Ebuzer Aydın, M.D.,  of our Faculty of Medicine.