The Pan African Congress of Radiology and Imaging (PACORI) is a biennial scientific exhibition that brings all experts in radiation medicine in Africa under one roof to discuss and review pertinent issues related to radiology and medical imaging in Africa and beyond. Founded in 2000 through the efforts of radiologist and radiographers in the greater East African region, PACORI has since incorporated other African countries. This year's meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in February 2015, organized by the Society of Radiography in Kenya (SORK), the Kenya Association of Radiologists (KAR) and industry sponsors. The theme: “Beyond Millennium Development Goals: radiology towards sustainable healthcare”.
Left to right: Kimberly Applegate, Image Gently and WFPI (Atlanta, USA), Michael Gray, ASRT and ISSSR educator from Kentucky), Debbie Gilley, IAEA representative for Africa region (Vienna), Marie Claire Cantone, representative for ICRP (from Milan, Italy), Dr. Kittony, professor of radiology in Nairobi, Kenya, Maria Perez, representative for WHO (Geneva) and Dr. Sidika Wambani, founder of the PACORI meetings from Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Applegate delivered a combination of short lectures with audience Q&A on the Basic Safety Standards, the Bonn Call for Action, and presentation summaries of Image Gently modules, WFPI work, ICRP policy statements and free educational materials of use to the audience.
A major moment: the launch of AFROSAFE, a campaign created by PACORI and other radiation health workers in Africa on 17th February 2015.
AFROSAFE’s main objective is to unite organizations and individuals in Africa who seek to promote quality, safe, and appropriate use of diagnostic, screening and therapeutic medical procedures employing ionizing radiation with a common goal: identify and address issues arising from radiation protection in medicine in Africa.
AFROSAFE's mission: "To ensure that throughout Africa, the benefits outweigh the harms for all individuals exposed to radiation for screening, diagnosis, or therapy at all levels of care." AFROSAFE plans to achieve its goals through supporting adherence to policies, strategies and activities for the promotion of radiation safety.
The genesis of this campaign is the joint position statement by the IAEA and WHO known as the Bonn Call-for-Action, inaugurated in December 2012.
The colorful launch ceremony was presided over by the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Kenya, Dr. Nicholus Muraguri. The minister pledged the support of government towards the realization of AFROSAFE objectives. The African countries with nationals present at the PACORI all "verbally" assented to the Afrosafe declaration as it was read it out at the launch. They included Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, Ghana, and Nigeria. In the future signatures to the declaration will be collected for those countries with professional societies.
Dr. Jaishree Naidoo (President of the African and South African Pediatric Imaging Societies; AfSPI/SASPI) also attended the meeting, speaking on POC ultrasound and bowel obstruction in the neonate and older child and liaising with Drs. María del Rosario Pérez (WHO) and Kimberly Applegate on the highlighting and launching of AFROSAFE's pediatric component at SASPI’s upcoming congress in 2016. Watch this space!