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AFEM: An international association aimed at supporting Emergency Care across Africa

The African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) was founded to develop and advance emergency care in Africa, and represents a broad coalition of national societies, organisations, and individuals from over 40 countries.  AFEM is dedicated to addressing the need for emergency care systems development and training in Africa, and has a strong history of successfully completing large projects.  AFEM has set a scientific agenda designed to increase the capacity of front line providers by offering open-access emergency care training curricula for nurses, midlevel providers, and specialists and by publishing the AFEM Handbook of Acute and Emergency Care.

Definition of Emergency Medicine

As per IFEM, Emergency medicine is a field of practice based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups with a full spectrum of episodic undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders; it further encompasses an understanding of the development of prehospital and in hospital emergency medical systems and the skills necessary for this development. 


Africa suffers from a disproportionately high burden of acute and emergency disease, but – with one or two exceptions – lacks dedicated emergency care systems. African countries suffer the highest rates of every category of injury; the highest rates of maternal death from acute complications of pregnancy; and the highest rates of acute complications of communicable diseases including TB, malaria, and HIV. Major international organisations recognise the critical need for emergency care; WHO data shows that HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria combined kill 4.4 million people per year, yet injury alone kills 5.8 million.  The World Bank estimates that 45% of deaths and 36% of disability in low- and middle-income countries could be addressed by the implementation of emergency care systems, and the World Health Assembly has called for all its member states to develop “formal, integrated emergency care systems.” 

The development of emergency care systems builds healthcare capacity and infrastructure, as emergency care is a horizontal intervention that forms the base of a successful healthcare system.  Emergency care is needed by everyone regardless of age, gender, or previous medical conditions.



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South Africa

South AfricaSouth Africa

EMSSA represents a group of enthusiastic healthcare professionals dedicated to the development of quality emergency care throughout South Africa. Emergency Medicine has only recently been recognized as an independent speciality, although this country has always had a large burden of patients presenting to our pre-hospital and hospital emergency services with experienced and passionate personnel rendering much needed care.



The Emergency Medicine Association of Tanzania (EMAT) was formed in May 2010  by doctors and nurses with active involvement in emergency care in Tanzania. The President is Dr Hendry Robert Sawe, of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences(MUHAS)-Dar es salaam. The objective of EMAT is to Pioneer, promote and advocate for dissemination of emergency care in Tanzania, through Teaching, research and education of emergency care.



The Botswana Society for Emergency Care (BSEC) held it's foundational meeting in November 2010, and was officially registered as a society in Botswana in September 2011. BSEC's mission is to promote advocate for emergency care in Botswana through teaching, research, and education. BSEC liases with partners from EMSSA and AFEM, and supports the emergency medicine post-graduate training program at the University of Botswana School of Medicine. Since it's inception, BSEC has hosted seminars on emergency triage, pre-hospital care, and acute care needs in Botswana.



The Ethiopian Society of Emergency Medical Professionals was formed in 2012. The President is Dr Sisay Teklu, of Addis Ababa University. The objective of ESEP is to assist in development of hospital and Pre-Hospital emergency care.



LEMA will encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of emergency medicine, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the ER physicians. It will offer to the interdisciplinary team the necessary tools for the interaction with the critically ill patient and their families from a holistic perspective.



SEMPON held their inaugural scientific conference in September 2014, themed: "The State of Emergency Care in Nigeria: the Way Forward". The objective of the organisation is to evaluate the state of emergency care in Nigeria, and engineer cooperation and partnership among key stakeholders.



The president of the Egyptian Society for Emergency Medicine is Dr. Hussein Sabri. It was formed in 2012, and is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of emergency medicine. It is an interdisciplinary organisation whose members are involved in the provision of emergency care.