Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo

The South African Family Practice Journal (SAFPJ), after years of applying, has been finally approved and listed with MEDLINE, said Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo, popularly referred to as Prof ‘O’, the head of the department of family medicine & primary health care, and the editor in chief of the SAFJP.

MEDLINE, which is based in the United States of America (USA), is the biggest database containing journal citations and abstracts for biomedical literature from all over the world. Having the SAFJP listed with MEDILINE for Prof Ogunbanjo, is a dream come true, after years of attempts to list with MEDLINE were turned down because of the strict criteria for admission.

The benefits of enlisting with this database for Ogunbanjo as editor in chief and for SMU are immense. “MEDLINE is the equivalent of a top soccer team playing in the proverbial football premier league. It offers huge exposure and international credibility for researchers”, quipped Prof Ogunbanjo.

The department of family medicine & primary health care is one of the leading departments in as far as research throughput is concerned, at SMU. The secret behind this success, Prof ‘O’ says, is “team work”, as no one, in the department of family medicine & primary health care, is allowed to publish any research work as a lone ranger. Twice a year, we go out to places like Swartruggens in the North West province for a whole weekend for scientific writing workshops facilitated by the head of department, thereby building human research capacity in the department”, he said.

“The results of this human research capacity building programme are bearing fruit – high quality and relevant papers are published in the Department of Higher Education and Training peer reviewed list of journals, having national, regional and international impact,’’ he added.

Prof Ogunbanjo lives a very busy life juggling academic, clinical, teaching, pastoral duties, and still manage to have a normal family life. He serves in various local and international medical science forums in which he is able to advance the African Renaissance Agenda by sharing his experience and expertise where such expertise is required.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has benefitted from the agenda, with many of its family medicine physicians initially trained under the former Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA), followed by University of Limpopo and currently under SMU, since 1997. Under his tutelage and support from his colleagues in the department, a new breed of family medicine specialists and trainers are training fellow Congolese doctors, in the discipline of family medicine at the Université Protestente au Congo (UPC), Kinshasa, DRC.

The second cohort of locally trained and context-based family medicine specialists will graduate at UPC on Saturday 3 August 2018. Prof ‘O’ concluded by saying that “SMU should have a strategic focus to build long lasting collaborations with other universities on the African continent, as this will be beneficial for our academics and students”