Africa is a fast growing continent with a beautiful mosaic of people. But in the medical sphere it suffers badly from a lack of essential resources and a lack of appropriately trained staff to deal with the challenges.
Because of the vacuum on the ground, too often decisions on how to move things forward are taken by people who do not have sufficient experience of how things actually operate at the district or local level.
The PAN African Thoracic Society (PATS) has been created to provide a new impetus to respiratory medicine in Africa. It should inform African resolutions for African problems. It should provide solutions to suit specific situations.
Amongst diseases devastating the African continent, respiratory disease occupies an important place. As well as diseases associated with the rapid economic and urban growth of our society, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer, there are also those linked to under-development and poverty, such as respiratory infections.
The role of PATS is to try and unite all interested groups and individuals across the continent toward finding appropriate solutions to these challenges. PATS role must be to inform, to sensitise, and to educate.
The enthusiasm and dedication of our members will be the key to any success. So, I invite you all to join us so that in a domain of respiratory disease, PATS can play a pivotal and meaningful role for the people of Africa.
Professor Ali Ben Kheder
Past President of the Pan African Thoracic Society