The way to know life is to enjoy many things -Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter
Dr. Fatima Mairami, the Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, FCT branch, asked us to organise this year’s Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference. If we knew then what we know now, we would have left town! It has been pretty difficult putting any egg in this basket! Similarly, if she knew then what she knows now, she would not have asked us! We are breaking the bank and perhaps she would be pan handling for the NMA after this. This is riches- to-rags story befitting of a Nollywood plot.
Anyway, we constituted a local organising committee; but after just one committee meeting, you start to think about committing suicide or murder! Thank God for WhatsApp and email to keep the members from committing to an asylum.
The fact is we are planning an unconventional AGM and turning the rule books upside down. Nothing is ‘as usual,’ certainly not the NMA FCT bank balance. The first task we undertook was to ask for a huge amount of money to be deposited with Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Doctors deserve the best and the food served there meets very high standards. There will be many people – including the so-called, ‘I heard, so I branched’ – attending just for the food.
The little scientific and medical related work will be at the Transcorp Hilton on August 3-5. We selected the theme, ‘Re-Designing Medicine,’ to allow us to preach that doctors need to rebrand and step out in style. We must reengineer and reboot, reformat, refocus and recreate a better image. Hopefully, no more strikes, as it actually dents our image and destroys the necessary team work and camaraderie among health care workers.
The usual research and audit presentations will be included for 10 points (Continued Medical Education, CME points). Hospitals and organisations can also participate in our special platform, ‘What’s new and happening now in Abuja?’ This is to showcase advanced techniques, special projects, new treatments in Abuja and nationwide. This is crucial, in order to educate doctors on what is now available locally. It might help reduce medical tourism.
Meet the big boys
Similarly, we will create time for the elders in the profession: to drink from their fountain of knowledge during a platform called ‘Meet our Elders.’ This meeting with our older colleagues will not be longer than their bladders can tolerate! The elders are actually those who are now retired after spending more than 35 years in the profession. We might even give an award to the chap with the greyest hair!
Get the message across
Doctors must learn to talk to patients and relatives better. Our communication skills are abysmal in many cases and patients are shouting, ‘Doctor, talk to me!’ I heard that a doctor slapped a woman in labour saying, ‘Stop shouting, were we there when you were enjoying yourself?’ So, we will do a communication skills workshop. This will be done with the help of the Centre for Communication Programme Nigeria, supported by Livinghealth TV. Some smart folks from Nollywood will be joining us. It is time we work with Nollywood to make more realistic medical scenes. You know what I mean!
National health bill
Also, perhaps a little bit of knowledge about the National Health Bill (in small doses!) will not go amiss! We need everyone to understand the health bill in order to make it meaningful for Nigerians. A lecturer will dissect the bill into easily digestible bits for the audience. Let us hope he does not choke on it!
A time to relax
Of course, as you know, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Truly, life should be full of laughter and we promise you real fun. For example, an old woman walked into a dentist’s office, took off all her clothes and spread her legs. The dentist said, “I think you have the wrong room.”’ “You put in my husband’s teeth last week,” she replied. “Now you have to remove them.”
The place to be
Abuja is the place to be in August. There would be no ‘usual’ visit to some crummy village for medical outreach. No, Madam Chairman! We will bring the villagers and everyone else to Jabi Lake for a superlative summer fun fair with doctors. You see, with the rate of strokes and heart attacks among young people, we must promote preventive health. So, the people in Abuja are being asked to come out on Saturday, August 8, for routine health checks, physical fitness, sport competitions, healthy food, drink, comedy, dance shows and much more.
Mix business with pleasure
This summer fest provides a great opportunity for doctors to relax with friends, colleagues, co-workers, patients and relatives. Engendering a spirit of togetherness and community participation, we hope to start laundering the image and perception of doctors. Business opportunity will also exist at the park for young people, entrepreneurs and established big businesses. Come and make some money selling your products to the throng of people and promote your brand on the day.
They say see Paris and die. Well, come and enjoy Abuja, live to tell the tale!
NB: There is more information on Facebook. Simply Google NMA FCT AGM 2015. To participate actively, you can also call or email me. Call now!