French Traduction
Dr Yveline Marie -Thérèse HOUENOU
Professor of Paediatrics
President of WACP
Cotonou the 4th  November 2019
At the beginning of our presentation, allow me to thank the political authorities of Benin for having authorized and supported the organization of the 43rd Annual Congress of the West African College of Physicians.
Minister of Health, our thanks go to you who, notwithstanding your heavy responsibilities, have done everything possible to be with us today. Above all, please convey to the President of the Republic our feelings of gratitude and full and high consideration. We would also like to thank the Representative of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
We thank the College's Board of Trustees,the Gold Medalists , the former Presidents and past-officials, the Presidents of the sister Colleges , Professor OBIONU Christopher Mabayoje Lecturer.
Our thanks go to our relatives and friends who made the trip, showing their commitment to our common cause. Finally, we would like to thank all Fellows and members.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

43 years is, without a doubt, an important milestone in the life of WACP for two main reasons:
The first reason concerns its geographical representativeness. The College has grown from 5 English-speaking countries in 2008 to 13 countries, 8 of which are French-speaking, and soon, with the two Portuguese-speaking countries (Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau), the 15 ECOWAS countries will be involved. This shows in ten years, both its quantitative and qualitative expansion, with for the first time a Francophone President.
The second reason is the vision highlighted by our 2018 - 2022 strategic plan that the College is effectively repositioning itself to meet the training and education needs of West African populations to meet their health care needs. Moreover, it should be reminded that we belong to and work with the main body responsible for population health in the sub-region, namely the West African Health Organization (WAHO).
Allow us here to greet Dr. SOW Abdulrahman, representing Professor Stanley OKOLO, Director General of WAHO. Thank you for your presence and support. We greet Professor Diallo and thank him for his availability.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The theme of our scientific meeting, "Health and the Environment in the Perspective of Achieving the Sustainable Development Objectives", reminds us of some of the priority challenges we must address together with our partners and colleagues. The first sub-theme will deal with "The training of medical specialists", which is our primary vocation; but at the moment, does this training resolutely meet the needs of the sub-region? With the second sub-theme, we ask ourselves the following question: how do we deal with "Medical Emergencies in the Sub-region? ».
Indeed, a complete state of well-being is only possible in a healthy environment, whether physical, social or cultural. This environment is characterized by enormous health challenges and harsh working conditions: 1 doctor instead of 7 per 100,000 inhabitants and 10 beds instead of 30 per 100,000 inhabitants according to WHO standards. Medical emergencies are non-existent and, says Amaury de Féligonde, I quote, "the health sector in Africa is itself a patient in urgent need of treatment".
Such a situation challenges our consciences as responsible men and women; and if efforts have already been made to train competent specialists, with the harmonization of curricula by WAHO, we are aware of the urgent need to train them in other ways in terms of number and quality, not only in view of growing technological progress, but also in view of the demands for quality health care that populations are in great need of.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

While we are implementing our 2018-2022 strategic plan, and our sister colleges are working for theirs, to what extent are these plans are interconnected to effectively address human resource needs in the sub-region? Clearly, the dynamics of integration that would take into account the strategic plan of WAHO and our countries is essential. For example, we could together create and support simulation Centres and Centres of Excellence. In addition, the training of health specialists for sustainable development must be refocused on the theme of Medical Ethics and Quality Assurance, one of our major common concerns;
 Hence, in this perspective, it would be appropriate to acknowledge the contribution of CAMES made by the presence of the representative of the Secretary General, in the person of our colleague and internationally renowned expert, I have named Professor Édouard NGOU-MILAMA, who has come to enlighten us on this theme. I would like to thank you for that, my dear colleague.
Moreover, we also aim to impact the sub-region's health indicators through research and concrete, multi-centric community-based interventions, by orienting essay, thesis and dissertation topics on regional health challenges. In this way, we will be able to provide, in collaboration with other research centres, appropriate health information and contribute to the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases and Communicable Diseases. 
Ladies and Gentlemen

WACP is already somewhat equipped to share resources and skills as well as to build capacity through various international and regional networks.   We can therefore be proud of some tangible results.
First and foremost, national colleges are developing, as evidenced by the postgraduate college forum, exchanges of ideas and staff, support for countries with few health personnel and few facilities.
Secondly, French-speaking chapters are growing and each country has successfully completed its national Annual Scientific Day (AGSM). In the very near future, WACP examiners will be able to participate in the accreditation of training institutions and be more integrated into specialist examination boards in French-speaking countries. The College initiated the foundations for the creation of the specialty of family medicine in Côte d'Ivoire with Canadian partners.

Thirdly, the faculties are very active; they organize workshops and symposia throughout the sub-region, as evidenced by the course entitled "Doctors as Educators" and the one on "Resuscitation of the Neonates".
In terms of infrastructure, the College has built a building with its own funds and a conference room that was commissioned during the October 2019 exams in Abuja; it has also initiated the launch of a grant management office.
The College continues to improve the procedures and processes for organizing exams, registrations and online fee payments. The digitization of theses is in progress with a view to establishing open archives, thus making scientific documentation available online; the College is also continuing to strengthen the competence of examiners on an ongoing basis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, let us say that we can all be proud of the commitment of all Fellows to meeting the health challenges of the population, notwithstanding the difficulties; we believe in the pooling of our resources and, in this area, the support of our national and regional authorities and our partners remains essential.  Inspired, motivated, committed, we will win.
May this week in Benin allow us together to answer questions related to health in the perspective of achieving sustainable development goals.                               
Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Executive Committee and all the Fellows, we would like to thank all those who, directly or indirectly, contributed to the organization of this event and undoubtedly to the success of this 43rd scientific meeting.
Congratulations to the Local Organizing Committee!
Long live to WACP!
Long live to sub-regional integration!
Long live to ECOWAS!
Thank you for your kind attention.

The President