The International Foundation for Dermatology (IFD) is a non-profit organisation and serves under the aegis of the International League of Dermatological Societies and its governing body, the International Committee of Dermatology.
The principal mission of the IFD is to improve dermatologic care in rural areas of developing countries through education, service and science. This is primarily accomplished by the creation of Regional Dermatology Training Centers in global areas of greatest need.
To date, two Training Centers have been established: one in Moshi, Tanzania and the other in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. The training program provided at each Center is tailored to the specific needs of the region. The Guatemalan Training Center has now been turned over to the Ministry of Health of Guatemala for operation.
The African Need
In all of sub-Sahara Africa, with the exception of South Africa, there are very few dermatologists and most of them work in major cities. For the majority of the rural African population, there is no access to dermatologic care.
In October 1992, the Regional Dermatology Training Center (RDTC) in Moshi, Tanzania was opened to train a new cadre of health worker, the Dermatology Officer. The students are men and women who were previously working as Clinical Officer/Medical Assistant, that is, they have completed secondary school training but are not physicians. In some countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland – there is no such healthworker. The nearest equivalent is the nurse, and thus, they too, are being trained to provide basic dermatologic care.
The course is a two-year residential course where theory and practical training go hand in hand. At the end of the course, the students are awarded an Advanced Diploma in Dermatovenereology from the University of Dar-es-Salaam. So far, twenty-five students from eight countries have graduated and a further eighteen are in training!
Dermatology 2000 Scholarship Fund
US$15 from every registration fee for Clinical Dermatology 2000 Vancouver was pledged to the Dermatology 2000 Fund for Scholarship, resulting in a donation of over US$30,000, which will support the educational programs for the students and the Faculty at the Regional Dermatology Training Center in Moshi, Tanzania.
Dermatology 2000 is committed to supporting the International Foundation for Dermatology through its meetings. For how you too can help and for further information on the work of the IFD, please contact: Dr Alfred W Kopf, Chairman, Board of Directors, International Foundation for Dermatology, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7805, New York, NY10118, USA. Tel: (+1) 212 263 5260. Fax: (+1) 516 741 3806
Dr Terence J Ryan, Secretary-Treasurer, International Foundation for Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, The Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LJ.
Tel: (+44) 1865 228258. Fax: (+44) 1865 228260