19th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine
Invitation to Attend from the Conference Chair
Professor Lee A Wallis - Chair, Local Organising Committee

On behalf of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa, it is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 19th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WCDEM) in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference will take place from 21-24 April 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and will be hosted by the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine in conjunction with EMSSA.

2015 is an important year for WCDEM, as it will be the first time that this key conference is held in Africa. Disasters can strike anywhere, but often cause the greatest devastation when they hit communities that are not prepared to handle the resulting devastation. With this in mind, the theme for the 2015 conference will be Creating Capacity, Building Resilience. We will focus on utilizing prevention and preparedness to minimize the impact of disasters and hasten recovery by developing more disaster resilient communities.

Emergency Medicine is rapidly developing in Africa. It was first recognized as a separate specialty in South Africa in 2003, and in 2010 the FIFA World Cuptm brought a new emphasis and focus on training in the field of disaster and mass gathering medicine. Four years later, the skills and systems developed for the World Cup remain, and are allowing an accelerated appreciation and expansion of disaster services and planning in the country. Many other sub-Saharan countries are now following suit and developing their emergency and disaster care response systems, in line with the World Health Assembly’s call for better disaster preparedness.

As South Africa's professional society, EMSSA is spearheading the development of this evolving specialty around the country and throughout the rest of the continent. We aim to improve the quality of emergency care and disaster management in areas where it is needed most by building capacity through training and outreach.

The local organising committee looks forward to welcoming you to our beautiful city, which was recently named the "Number 1 Place to Go in 2014" by the New York Times. While you are here, we hope you take advantage of our social program and find time to visit some of our top attractions including the iconic Table Mountain, our world-renowned winelands, and the historic Robben Island.
We look forward to meeting you in Cape Town!

Warm regards

Professor Lee A Wallis
Chair, Local Organising Committee