Cameroonian Society of Human Genetics – CSHG
The conjunction of “hard genetics” research centres in genomics of malaria and HIV in Cameroon, with well-established biomedical and bioethics research groups, and the exceptional possibility to hold the 6th annual meeting of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG, 13th-15th March 2009) was an excellent opportunity to get together in synergy the entire Cameroonian “DNA/RNA scientists”. This laid to the foundation of the Cameroonian Society of Human Genetics (CSHG) that was privilege to hold its inaugural meeting in conjunction to the 6th annual meeting of the AfSHG. The theme was “Human Origin, Genetic Diversity and Health”. The inaugural meeting was graced by the presence of one Nobel Prize winner Dr Richard Roberts (Physiology and Medicine 1993). The meeting registered contributions of Cameroonian scientists from the Diaspora (currently in USA, Belgium, Gambia, Sudan and Zimbabwe). Such Diaspora participation is an opportunity to generate collaborations with home country scientists and ultimately turn the “brain drain” to “brain circulation” that could reduce the impact of the migration of health professional from Africa. Interestingly, the personal implication of the Cameroonian Ministry of Public Heath who opened the meeting in the presence of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education and a representative of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation was a wonderful opportunity for advocacy of genetic issues at the decision-makers level.
Since its creation, the CSHG have been the catalyst of numerous MD, MSc an PhD training in Human genetics thought international network, and of particular note the Society have also facilitate the training of a medial geneticist. In addition, the CSHG has collaborated with Specific research enterprise such and the BASS connection project, which helped hosting some visiting student and Scholar from Dukes University (USA) in Cameroon in 2015-2016. The Society has also collaborated with “Globule Rouge”, a sickle cell disease patient’s advocacy group to perform some social Science Research in Cameroon. Major challenges have been to organize regular meetings, to entertain active membership beyond the specific activities, and to develop an international visibility. These challenges have been overcome by the use Internet that has allowed the Society to operate and a virtual but active laboratory. Through the advocacy of the CSHG, a major promise of the Cameroonian government was the creation of the National Human Genome Institute. If this goal ever comes true, this will be a critical step to bring more genetics for the purpose of Public Health to the Cameroonian people.
- Wonkam A, Kenfack MA, Bigoga J, Nkegoum B, Muna W. Inauguration of the Cameroonian society of human genetics. Pan Afr Med J.2009 Oct 20;3:8.
- Wonkam A, Kenfack MA, Muna WF, Ouwe-Missi-Oukem-Boyer O. Ethics of human genetic studies in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Cameroon through a bibliometric analysis. Dev World Bioeth. 2011 Dec;11(3):120-7.
- Sirugo G, Williams SM, Royal CD, Newport MJ, Hennig BJ, Mariani-Costantini R, Buonaguro FM, Velez Edwards DR, Ibrahim M, Soodyall H,Wonkam A, Ramesar R, Rotimi CN. Report on the 6th African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG) Meeting, March 12-15, 2009, Yaounde, Cameroon. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Aug;83(2):226-9.
- Wonkam A, Muna W, Ramesar R, Rotimi CN, Newport MJ. Capacity-building in human genetics for developing countries: initiatives and perspectives in sub-Saharan Africa. Public Health Genomics. 2010;13(7-8):492-4.
Official name of the society
Cameroonian Society of Human Genetics (CSHG)
Societe Camerounaise de Genetique Humaine (SCGH)
- PresidentAmbroise Wonkam
When it was founded
What the catalyst was to found it
The hosting of the AfSHG in Yaoundé in 2009, and the back-to-back NHI and WT frontiers meeting in Human genetics in Yaoundé
To promote Human and medical genetics in Health, though training, research , advocacy, and development of locally relevant technology
Number of current members
Date of last National Congress
Formal meeting 2013, informal networking meeting 2015
Main plans for 2018
Formal national meeting, Website development, Community engagement activities with the Sickle Cell Disease patients Support group and Hearing Impairment patients support group.
Not yet available