MANSAG – Still going strong!


Organising Nigerian doctors will never been an easy task. The Medical Association of Nigerian Specialists and General Practitioners have been doing this in the UK since 1997. As is tradition every year it recently held its annual charity ball. This was a ball with a difference as it had the ebullient Nigerian (rather than Nigerian-born) comedian Gina Yashere, who held the audience spell bound with her jokes….(would love to see her on stage with BasketMouth)

But it was a night of serious affairs too. MANSAG has been very active in supporting specific charities every year. This year the chosen charity was “Stepping Stones” Stepping stones works in Nigeria with the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) and our sister NGO – Stepping Stones Nigeria to protect, save and transform the lives of children who have been stigmatised as being ‘witches’.

No doubt, MANSAG has matured as an organisation. Guided by the able leadership of Professor Stanley Okolo and his team. It has done its bit in defending the interests of Nigerian doctors in the UK. Speaking to Stanley at his last Ball as president, he says that one achievement he is proud of in the engagement of the next generation Nigerian doctors in the UK in MANSAG’s activities. As the new executive comes in…they will have to carry on with this challenge. Of the literarily thousands of Nigerian doctors in the UK, at best, less than 200 are active in the activities of MANSAG.

At the dinner was Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Senator Dalhatu Tafida, a former Honourable Minister of our Federal Republic and a colleague. Watch out for what Dr. Tafida said at the dinner and why it matters in subsequent posts.

But for now, on save the date of the next
20th MANSAG conference and AGM in October 2009 Plymouth (Weekend: 30 October – 1 November 2009).

Between July 14 – 19
MANSAG is collaborating with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas and the Nigerian Medical Association to organise a conference in Abuja. Find the programme here.

So…if you are in the UK and a doctor, don’t sit on the fence, engage with MANSAG. Check out their website at (…and yes…they are working on a better website :))

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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