19th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine
Congress Hosts

The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) is a non-operational, non-governmental, multidisciplinary organization whose mission is the global improvement of prehospital and emergency health care, public health, and disaster health and preparedness.   WADEM members are health professionals with an interest, background, or expertise in disaster and emergency health and span the globe representing more than 55 countries.

Membership in WADEM includes an annual subscription (print and/or online) to Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (six issues); unlimited access to the entire digital archive of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (28 Volumes) through Cambridge Journals Online, registration discounts for the World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine (next in Cape Town in 2015); networking, contact, and research collaboration opportunities; and the opportunity to participate in or form regional chapters and professional interest sections.  Currently, there is an Oceania Regional Chapter and several Sections including Nursing, Mass Gathering Medicine, Psychosocial Issues, Emergency Medical Response, and Osteopathic Physicians. 

Join your colleagues in developing and advancing the science of disaster and emergency health! Click here for details. 

Emergency Medicine Society of South America (EMSSA ) represents a group of healthcare professionals dedicated to the development of quality emergency care throughout South Africa. The main objectives of the EMSSA are: To promote and improve emergency care through teaching, research and education; To promote the speciality of emergency medicine; To advocate for emergency care in South Africa; To generate funding for the accomplishment of the above; To lobby on behalf of members of the Emergency medicine Society of South Africa for the promotion of and maintenance of the profession. Click here for details. 

Invitation to Attend from the President of WADEM
Professor Paul Arbon, PhD, WADEM President

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Officers of WADEM, I would like to wholeheartedly invite you to the 19th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine! 

Worldwide the impact of disasters and emergencies has been increasing. WADEM is working hard, alongside its international partners to improve the scientific basis for disaster and emergency health practice and to translate scientific evidence into improved practice and outcomes. This work truly can protect communities, save lives, improve recovery and encourage the development of more disaster resilient communities. The new paradigm in disaster management centres on the concept of creating capacity and building resilience and this concept provides the core theme for the congress. Sessions will consider how building capacity and capability can work to protect communities, at least to some extent, when disaster strikes; reducing the impact and shortening the period of recovery. 

The Congress provides us with an opportunity to boost this community building effort, to engage with new partners and to share ideas, networks, and resources across the many disciplines with a role to play in disaster and emergency health. I invite you to contribute your expertise and experiences to help build the future of disaster and emergency health. I am confident that the Congress sessions, exhibitor hall, keynote addresses, and networking opportunities will facilitate this effort. 

The organizing committee has also prepared a stimulating social program with numerous events and tours in and around Cape Town. While here, please take some time to relax and see the sights, meet with old friends, or even better, make new ones! 

We hope to see you in Cape Town! 


Professor Paul Arbon, PhD 
WADEM President

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