Health & Medicine

Health sector organisations in the Commonwealth include the:

–  Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition

–  Commonwealth Dental Association

–  Commonwealth Medical Association

–  Commonwealth Medical Trust

–  Commonwealth Nurses Federation

–  Commonwealth Pharmacists Association



Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN)

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK

Tel: +44 117 342 8828; +44 7977 411429 | Fax: +44 117 342 8831 | Email: |

CAPGAN promotes the knowledge of and training in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition (PGHAN) throughout the Commonwealth, but especially among developing countries. It also fosters collaborative research in these fields; is a source of authoritative advice to both national and international agencies within the Commonwealth on the problems of paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology, and in particular the problems of childhood diarrhoea and malnutrition; and advocates for the needs of children, particularly in relation to nutritional and diarrhoeal diseases and for an even distribution of resources. It is affiliated to 22 paediatric societies/associations within the Commonwealth.

A biennial scientific meeting was held at the Institute of Child Health in London in July 2011 with a reception at Marlborough House (see, and before that in Blantyre, Malawi, in August 2009. The next meeting was as part of World Congress of PGHAN in Taipei, Taiwan, November 2012, prior to CAPGAN convening in Sri Lanka in December 2013.

Foundation: 1984

Officers: President: Professor Tahmeed Ahmed; Immediate past president: Professor Bhupinder Sandhu; President-elect: Professor David Brewster; Secretary: Dr Barbara Golden; Treasurer: Dr Susan Hill 

Commonwealth Dental Association (CDA)

c/o Ulrike Matthesius, CDA Administrator, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS, UK

Tel: +44 20 7563 4133 | Fax: +44 20 7563 4556 | Email:

The CDA aims to improve dental and oral health in Commonwealth countries, by raising the skills of practitioners and increasing the community’s awareness of the importance of oral health. CDA’s membership comprises the national dental associations in the countries of the Commonwealth, and ‘friends’ of CDA.

Foundation: 1991

Officers: President: Dr William O’Reilly (Australia); President-elect: Dr Anthony S Kravitz OBE (UK); Executive Secretary: Professor D Y D Samarawickrama (UK/Sri Lanka); Treasurer: Dr Anthony S Kravitz OBE (UK) 

Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA)

British Medical Association Building, International Department, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP, UK

Tel: +44 207 383 6069 | Fax: +44 207 383 6644 | Email:

The main aim of the CMA is to assist and strengthen the capacities of National Medical Associations of countries within the Commonwealth to improve the health and well-being of their communities and countries.

Foundation: 1962

Officers: President: Dr Gordon Caruana Dingli (Malta); Immediate Past President: Dr Sundaram Arulrhaj (India); Secretary: Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso (Ghana); Treasurer: Dr Margaret Mungherera (Uganda); Vice-Presidents – European region: Professor Vivienne Nathanson (UK); Canadian/Caribbean region: Dr Solaiman Juman (Trinidad and Tobago); South-East Asian and Australian region: Dr David Quek Kwang Leng (Malaysia); Central Asian region: Dr Lalitha Neelangani Mendis (Sri Lanka); West African region: Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei (Ghana); Central, Eastern and Southern African region: Dr Mphata Norman Mabasa (South Africa)

Activities: Regional and international workshops on health issues; medical and health research; advocacy on health issues; capacity-building for member national medical associations; and collaborations with other international bodies, civil society and governance institutions, with similar objectives.


Commonwealth Medical Trust (Commat)

BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP, UK

Tel: +44 1689 878 372 | Email:

Commat’s work is focused on the promotion of health and prevention of disease and disability (especially in the area of reproductive health) and the advancement of human rights and medical ethics – particularly for the poor and other marginalised groups in Commonwealth and other developing countries, and with special reference to the role that can be played by medical practitioners and their professional associations. National Commat organisations have been established in Pakistan and Uganda.

Foundation: 1995

Officers: Director: Marianne Haslegrave



Commonwealth Nurses Federation

c/o Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN, UK

Tel: +44 20 7647 3593 | Fax: +44 20 7647 3413 | Email: |

The purpose of the CNF is to contribute to the improved health of citizens of the Commonwealth by fostering access to nursing education, influencing health policy, developing nursing networks and strengthening nursing leadership.

Foundation: 1973

Officers: President: Susie Kong (Singapore); Vice-President: Satish Chawla (India); Executive Secretary: Jill Iliffe; Treasurer: Angela Neuhaus

Activities: The Federation’s work programme includes regional and in-country workshops and training aimed at raising the profile and standards of nursing and midwifery in Commonwealth countries; participating in and influencing health policy development at a Commonwealth level; and research and other initiatives on key areas of concern to nurses and midwives such as workforce planning, migration and HIV and AIDS.

Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA)

1 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7JN, UK

Tel: +44 20 7572 2364 | Fax: +44 20 7572 2504  Email: |

The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association is an organisation of Commonwealth professional pharmaceutical bodies and individual members, dedicated to promoting and disseminating the pharmaceutical sciences throughout the Commonwealth and to improving the quality and range of services offered by pharmacists in particular by:

promoting high standards of professional conduct among pharmacists, having due regard for the honour and traditions of the profession effecting close links between members of the profession in Commonwealth countries and facilitating personal contacts between pharmacists and students encouraging the creation of a national professional pharmaceutical association in any Commonwealth country where none exists, fostering high standards of pharmaceutical education at all levels and of practice in all branches of the profession, and holding CPA conferences (the 11th CPA Conference was held in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, on the theme ‘pharmacy – versatile, responsive, aware’; and Pharmacy Conference 2013 – the 12th Meeting of the CPA – is due to take place in August in Nassau, The Bahamas, with ‘enhancing pharmaceutical care through technology’ as its theme)

  • facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and information about the pharmaceutical sciences and the professional practice of pharmacy
  • advocating high standards of control over the quality and distribution of drugs, wherever appropriate by professional means, and to that end encouraging suitable legislation and its implementation, and
  • liaising with similar associations or allied health professional groups within and outside of the Commonwealth to assist in attaining these objectives.

Foundation: 1970, as the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Association

Officers: President: Raymond Anderson (Europe region); Vice-Presidents: Frances Owusu Daaku (West Africa region), Philip Gray (Americas region); Honorary Secretary: Roger Odd (UK); Treasurer: John Farwell (UK); Operations Director: Jonathan Mason (UK)