MWAZ MENTORSHIP PROGRAM: BRIDGING GAPS AND FORGING BONDS- 22nd JULY 2023
On July 22nd, the graduation of Cohort 2 of the MWAZ mentorship program was joyously celebrated. This mentorship program linked accomplished female doctors and dental surgeons with aspiring medical students and interns. Over a span of three months, weekly webinars of different topics curated by the MWAZ team were meticulously organized. Esteemed speakers, including mentors and special guests, graced these sessions with their insights.
Flexibility was top of our approach. Mentors and mentees were given the liberty to communicate through channels of their choice—often opting for physical meetings, phone calls, WhatsApp and emails.
22nd July 2022 marked an exceptional occasion, allowing mentors and mentees to gather in person. This was an opportunity some experienced for the first time, evoking heartfelt emotions.
Other mentors from the diaspora virtually joined the event, transcending geographical boundaries to unite in spirit. Through this journey, profound connections took root, and vital life lessons and skills were shared leading to a legacy we hope endures.
MWAZ HOSTS SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
22nd-28th JULY 2023
On July 28th 2023, MWAZ held a dynamic Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting centered around the theme “Embracing Female Leadership and Innovation in Health.” The morning session showcased enlightening scientific presentations, shining a spotlight on the pivotal roles of female leadership and innovation within the health sector.
Our first speaker, Dr. Rosemary Mwanza-Banda, is a distinguished Public Health Consultant renowned for her expertise in Quality of Healthcare. She delivered an insightful presentation “Embracing Leadership in the Public Sector: Rewards, Challenges, and Solutions.” Dr. Mwanza-Banda’s talk shed light on the importance of female leadership in driving positive change within the healthcare system, highlighting both the rewards and challenges that women face in this domain while offering practical solutions to overcome them.
The second speaker, Dr. Natasha Salifyanji Kaoma, is the CEO of Copper Rose Zambia, an inspiring figure in the field of health innovation. Her presentation “Innovating and Building from the Ground: Bringing Your Own Seat to the Table,” resonated deeply with the audience. Dr. Kaoma shared her personal journey of innovation and entrepreneurship, emphasizing the power of determination and creativity in carving a niche for oneself in the healthcare industry.
Our keynote speaker, Dr. Nanthalile Mugala, added a global perspective to the conference. As the Chief of the Africa Region of Path, she brought a wealth of experience to her presentation “Embracing Regional and Global Health Leadership: Insights and Tips.” Dr. Mugala’s address offered invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities of leading in the global health arena, providing attendees with actionable tips to navigate and excel in such roles.
Collectively, these three distinguished speakers provided a comprehensive exploration of the theme “Embracing Female Leadership and Innovation in Health,” inspiring all attendees to embrace leadership, innovation, and the limitless possibilities within the healthcare sector. Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives enriched the conference and left a lasting impact on all who participated.
Transitioning to the AGM, MWAZ members engaged in productive discussions on pertinent issues. Notably, a new executive committee was elected during this session, marking the beginning of their tenure from 2023 to 2025. This gathering served as a platform for knowledge exchange, dialogue, and the shaping of MWAZ’s path forward.
2023-2025 Executive committee for Medical Women’s Association of Zambia
1. President – Dr Joyce Sakala
2. Vice President – Dr Enelesi Lungu
3. Secretary General – Dr Malita Kasongo
4. Treasurer – Dr Mirriam Chibolela
5. Publicity Secretary – Dr Nancy Mbasela
6. Committee Members
Dr Namunji CL Matale
Dr Elisa Mayondi
Dr Nelly Chawezi Nawakwi
7. Committee member student’s Chapter – Dr Sheila Mwanamwampula.
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when menstruation ceases permanently and is characterized by a period of transition from reproductive age to this stage where reproduction is not possible, the premenopausal period. Premenopausal and menopausal symptoms were the main issues discussed during the 2 hour long evening webinar that was organized by the Network of Zambian in the UN Abroad, in collaboration with the Medical Women’s Association of Zambia and Project Girls for Girls Zambia held on 28th September, 2024.
Menopause naturally occurs between 44 to 55 years with an average age of 51 years, affecting over 650 million women globally. Early and premature menopause may occur earlier from different health conditions. Despite the varying discomfort and health consequences menopause brings about, it is poorly understood and recognized, with a negative impact on the women’s quality of life and work output.
The webinar received a lot of interest and more than 839 people registered with over 250 participating via the zoom platform and the rest following via live Facebook streaming.
The panel of speakers was comprised of experts from the Medical Women’s Association of Zambia and included Dr. Mulaya Mubambe, a consultant obstetrician gynecologist from Zambia, also a trained reproductive health and fertility specialist, who was the main presenter. The other panelists were Dr. Jane Mumba, a Zambian consultant obstetrician gynecologist and Dr. Margaret Kasaro-Phiri, a maternal health research who is also a practicing obstetrician gynecologist from Zambia. The panel was well thought out and they were equal to the task, answering over 50 questions via the online chat on zoom and a lot more orally during the presentation. Various issues surrounding menopause were explained by the health experts including issues of hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, skin changes, sexual function, brain and bone health as well as heart health. Tips on how to manage the menopause were shared and hormone replacement therapy to tackle severe symptoms was discussed.
The webinar was well appreciated by the audience as evidenced from some of the feedback received on the webinar.
“Wonderful session, very interactive and lots of information from the professionals”, remarked one of the attendees
“Good evening. A great session and a lot of insights. Thank you for sharing the knowledge. Have a lovely evening”, said another participant
Before closing, the presenter emphasized that menopause is a natural process with variable severity of symptoms experienced by different women who need individualized care from care providers for them to continue enjoying a fulfilling life.
HOSTING “DO IT IN PINK – DANCE AWAY CANCER” AEROBICS IN SUPPORT OF BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
This event is scheduled to take place on October 21st, 2023, at Arcades Shopping Mall in Lusaka. Our aim for this event is twofold: to raise funds for the upcoming MWIA NEAR Congress that we will be hosting from 8-10th May 2024 and to promote a healthy lifestyle among participants. The event will be a dynamic fusion of exercise and education, fostering a sense of community engagement. We anticipate significant participation due to the combination of fitness, a meaningful cause, and the opportunity for attendees to undergo free breast cancer examinations. These examinations align with our dedication to early detection and prevention.
MWIA NEAR CONGRESS to be held 8th-10th May 2024 with the theme “Health Equity through Partnerships, Innovation and Research”.