Inaugural meeting of the Southern African Clinical Epidemiology Association

On the 3rd April 2013, the inaugural meeting of the Southern African Clinical Epidemiology Association (SACEA), organised by the Universities of Stellenbosch, Witwatersrand and Pretoria in collaboration with the International Epidemiology Association (IEA) and International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN), was hosted by the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. Twenty four participants, from a range of health backgrounds including nursing, dietetics, paramedics, dentistry, and medicine, and many of whom graduated with the MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from Stellenbosch University, attended the meeting.

SACEA will aim to promote the science and practice of Clinical Epidemiology, develop the scope of practice for Clinical Epidemiologists, benchmark and standardise Clinical Epidemiology education and training programmes, support collaborative efforts among academic institutions for development, delivery and improvement and quality assurance of Clinical Epidemiology education and training programmes including experiential learning, promote continuous professional development in Clinical Epidemiology for all health professionals and partner with other international organizations of Epidemiology and Clinical Epidemiology. Although the focus of SACEA is Clinical Epidemiology, it welcomes other epidemiologists as well. 

The proceedings started with messages from both the IEA and INCLEN. Facilitated discussions on Clinical Epidemiology, the scope of Clinical epidemiologists and Clinical Epidemiology and Southern African health systems were followed by a dedicated time to talk about theoretical and experiential learning in Clinical Epidemiology. Participants engaged critically with these topics and lively discussions took place. The meeting was followed by a special training meeting where the academics from three South African Universities and University of Ibadan shared experiences in offering postgraduate training in Clinical Epidemiology.

The SACEA elected an interim executive committee which will govern the Society till the first annual general meeting in 2014. The members of the Interim Executive committee are: Prof Jimmy Volmink (President); Dr Newton Kumwenda (Deputy President), Dr Taryn Young (Secretary) and Dr Nandi Siegfried (Treasurer) and five other members including a representative from IEA and INCLEN. Stellenbosch University will host the interim secretariat.

The SACEA will apply to Internal Epidemiology Association, African Epidemiology Federation and International Clinical Epidemiology Network for affiliation.

SACEA will hope to play a key role in advancing Clinical Epidemiology in the African region and therefore,  would like to invite all Clinical Epidemiologists from Southern African Region (Angola, Botswana, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho,  Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). For membership application forms do contact Traci Naidoo tracin@sun.ac.za or T Young tyoung@sun.ac.za.

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