WONCA has initiated the African Forum for Primary Health Care (AfroPHC) [https://afrophc.org/about/] to bring the leadership of the Primary Health Care (PHC) team together to build an accountable team for PHC for well-defined populations at national level in Africa. African Forum for Primary Health Care has grown beyond our wildest dreams in a space of months.
It is unfortunate that there are professional turf issues globally, including Africa. A historical one is that of conflict between doctors and nurses particularly at national levels. The sources of conflict are role boundary issues, scope of practice and accountability.1 What has been amazing in developing AfroPHC is the discovery that all cadres of PHC have much in common. It has led to the AfroPHC Statement on Vision and Principles (https://afrophc.org/2020/11/26/afrophc-statement/). Whilst AfroPHC is acutely aware of the shortage of healthcare workers in Africa, the consensus is that all cadres of professions are required in PHC to deliver the African vision of team-based quality care to defined local communities. African Forum for Primary Health Care has showcased what can be achieved at an African level if we practise good leadership and teamwork. See more about AfroPHC (https://afrophc.org/).
Leadership is often cast as an entitled position, usually of authority. A lone African study on physician leadership competencies is useful but teamwork can be seen as superficial friendliness with what are seen as subordinates.2 Instead, astute leadership should be robust in exploring various team roles in relation to the task/s. A useful construct is the Belbin Team Role (https://www.belbin.com/about/belbin-team-roles)….more