The East & Southern Africa (E&SA) Division consists of over 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Countries in the region are all still developing their dental research activities and most dentists and oral health workers are not yet members of the IADR. Due to lack of adequate information and to some extent high poverty levels, such activities have been limited to training institutions.
With the expansion of the IADR structure to include federations, the region has become smaller and interest in IADR activities has increased. This interest needs to be sustained and even increased to ensure that more are given a chance to enjoy membership in the IADR family.
Current efforts by members to improve the quality and quantity of dental research in the region have been hampered by the lack of an effective mechanism to communicate the same to members and potential members. Journals that are published outside the region are not easy to submit to due to distance. These journals are also not available locally or have subscription rates that are prohibitive. Their content can therefore not be easily used by decision makers and local researchers. There is therefore need to strengthen the locally available and accessible journals so as to encourage local researchers.
The expertise in research that has been built over the years needs to be sustainable. The best way to do this is to ensure that the young researchers are interested in research and that their imagination is aroused. To be able to do this, they must be exposed to international standards of conferencing. The AMEF meeting is one such atmosphere.
• To promote the development of research activities and communicating research in sub-Saharan Africa.
• To provide travel support to oral health researchers from sub-Saharan Africa to attend the IADR Africa & Middle East Meetings as well as the IADR General Session & Exhibition.
• To promote mentoring of young researchers
Since we are aware that there is a lot of research that goes on in the region, we must give members and opportunity to publish in a local journal. To market the journal to members, the next issue should have more copies and must be sent out to all member countries. We then expect that more members will subscribe and eventually publish in the journal.
A regional panel is going to be constituted to assess the quality of abstracts to be submitted to the IADR Africa/Middle East Region Annual Meeting. The abstracts that will have been accepted will be eligible to receive travel support to the meeting.