About PAWAS

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PAN AFRICAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF SURGEONS

‘The sum is greater than the parts’

About Us:

There is an increasing burden of neglected surgical disease in the continent with 143 million additional surgical procedures needed in LMICs each year to save lives and prevent disability. Some of the top causes of premature deaths among women on the African continent are due to maternal related deaths and cancer related deaths. (The current burden of cancer related deaths in developing nations, has now surpassed the total deaths from malaria, HIV and TB combined). Many of these causes are amenable to surgical intervention. In addition, there is still low enrollment and a very high attrition rate, of female residents training in surgical specialties, in most African countries. A platform to link with and exchange information and obtain support & mentorship from other surgeons, regionally and globally, remains critical in helping to address and mitigate the unique challenges faced. Our interest is in helping to develop a women’s health platform for Africa. This is a multi-layered concern which needs to address issues of health awareness, education, early detection and treatment of disease but also needs to consider equity and empowerment of women and to determine what the diverse barriers are, to access to care, in our populations. The mandate of this group is to increase awareness of women’s health concerns. The directive for our members is to be catalysts for change in their immediate environment and to use the group and its resources to educate, advocate and empower our women and the greater population. We will also use this forum to network, support each other and to support existing initiatives. We intend to develop and support collaborative projects aimed at improving surgical care. An equally critical task is to develop and foster collaborative research aimed at women’s health concerns and surgical pathology. It is our hope that through these efforts and the many ongoing endeavors on the continent to improve healthcare, and through significant partnerships and collaborations, our women can finally have a global voice.

Vision

To form a Pan African forum for women in surgery to interact and support each other and contribute towards improving healthcare in the region

Mission

To inspire, encourage, and assist women in surgery to achieve their professional and personal goals and to develop a women’s healthcare platform on the African continent AIMS:
  • To form a supportive network for women in surgery
  • To enhance visibility of women in surgery and increase their role in health care
  • To enhance and facilitate interaction among women surgeons on the African continent and internationally
  • To foster and mentor women considering a career in surgery
  • To facilitate professional growth, competence and career development
  • To develop agents for healthcare change in the African region
The group will fulfill the aims by:
  • Promoting the interaction and support of women in surgery and affiliated disciplines in the pan African region and working together regardless of age, ethnic origin, ability, sex, belief or political affiliation, recognising the value of our many differences.
  • Establishing a platform where women’s health concerns can be addressed and involving local groups and people
  • Educating, encouraging and supporting the local population in best health practice by working with statutory and non-statutory agencies.
  • Promoting professional development of Women in health surgical practice and affiliated fields and developing surgical and health educational facilities.
  • To spearhead collaborative research efforts in the continent highlighting Women’s health concerns and surgical pathology
  • To raise funds and receive contributions, where appropriate to finance the work promoting health care on the continent.
  • To organize meetings, training courses and events highlighting women’s health care.
  • Work with similar groups and exchange information and advice with them.