FECAMDS is an acronym which stands for federation of catholic medical and dental students and an affiliate of the Nigeria federation of catholic students.
Born in 1992 by some founding members and orchestrated by Dr. Charles Njoku, a then student from the University of Calabar, Cross River State, with an aim of empowering catholic healthcare students both academically and spiritually so they would be imparted with the value of serving humanity through healthcare as well as ensuring excellence.
We have a mission to bring the reign of God into the lives of all men through holistic healthcare delivery and a vision to build a gathering of Gods’ children founded in oneness, family and excellence, born in the spirit of love guided by sound catholic principles made manifest in the selfless service to humanity and leading to the salvation of all. These (the mission and vision statements) in 2013/2014 FECAMDS year, were propounded to further direct all we do and identify what we stand for under the then leadership of Bro. Fabian Adili-George (LASU).
A total of fourteen (14) aims and objectives were narrowed into three broad categories: spiritual, academics and social to aid the balance of the three facets of man: the spirit, the soul and body.
However in 2004, FECAMDS celebrated a decade of unity following a fully laid down foundation in 1994 and since then, FECAMDS has not looked back. It has grown from strength to strength albeit its challenges.
God has always been faithful and merciful to FECAMDSites across the nation as many has distinguished themselves through academic excellence and the blessings of God never ceases especially for those who serve him in truth and in spirit.
Excellence through hard work has been promoted in FECAMDS through yearly Essay writing and quiz competitions encouraged by attaching prizes to the best and sponsored my some alumni members to ensure continuity and sustenance.
Research is conducted every year also through our National Health Project.
All spiritual activities are left to the discretion of individual chapters due to their peculiarities.
There’s also a prayer manual that guides and unite our prayers and requests to the greater good of mankind.
Also, every chapter is expected to carry out at least 3outreaches in a FECAMDS year to enhance evangelization and reaching out to the poor and needy.
The first convention was hosted in November, 1995 with the theme ‘‘the right to life’’. This was graced by 500 delegates in the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus under the stewardship of Dr. Chuma Egbuji (now a consultant obstetric and gynecologist here in Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki).
So far 16 schools have hosted the national event with Ahmadu Bello University, University of Calabar, University of Ibadan, University of Benin and university of Nigeria Enugu campus having hosted the event twice apiece. However, University of Benin hosted and Ahmadu Bello University hosted in 2017 & 2018 respectively to move ahead of others with a record third time.
University of Illorin will be joining the host for a second time this year and still holds the record of the highest number of delegates till date.
According to a popular adage that says ‘‘where the president resides, there lies the association’’. As such the secretariat is the heart of the federation revolving amongst schools around the country in a four pronged zoning system. The secretariat houses the seat of the national president as well as the secretary, prayer secretary and the treasurer.
The first secretariat gave birth to the president, secretary and PRO in the persons of Bro. Kenneth Agwu, Bro. Charles Njoku and Bro. Jude Shiweobi with the later functionally active as the coordinator, FECAMDS NIGERIA Alumni wing.
The current and out-going secretariat members for 2018/2019 FECAMDS year include Sis. Nnamani-egbo Maria, Obot-obot Mkpoikanabasi, Bro. Otuaga Anthony and Sis. Chukwu Victoria as the president, secretary, prayer secretary and treasurer respectively.
Currently there are 33 chapters in FECAMDSNIGERIA (N9, E8, W8, S8).
We are where we are today because 22 men in the past have fought valiantly to steady the ship with the 23rd rounding up the sail.
With a vision of oneness guided by sound catholic principles manifesting in our service to humanity, the federation expanded borders to ensure the salvation of all after our counterparts in Ghana keyed into the mission. This has led to their participation in our national convention and us theirs. The federation was also working on extending the vision to some other countries which include Ukraine, Uganda, and Cameroon, a dream I feel strongly is dead. Contacts have been established in the past and require a follow up hoping also that with the help of our mother, the National Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) it shall come to fruition not only with these three countries but with more.
The Convention, Secretariat and Editorial schools undergo a zoning system that allows equal and optimal participation in National activities and it moves two (2) poles apart. If the Convention is in the south, the Secretariat will go to the North while the Editorial goes to either the west or East depending on the previous rotation.
FECAMDS cuts across various Medical and Health related courses but after school those in Medicine and surgery join the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN). However, a FECAMDS Alumni group exists in proxy which still comprises of all irrespective of discipline.
The National Logo was designed to serve as a symbol and emblem of recognition. It proudly displays the following parts.
The Circles: There are two circles, big and small. The world is a big circle, and we all are within that circle. The big circle may also be seen as the Body of Christ (the Church) within which is the smaller circle (FECAMDS) where we all as members operate in our respective capacities. We are all constantly reminded that whatever we do in this life, good or bad, will be counted for or against us. What goes around comes around.
The Cross: This symbolizes the death of Christ for all mankind and serves as a symbol of our faith in the Lord as the ultimate healing power. The cross has a black outline, which symbolizes that we have to lay down our lives for humanity.
The Staff: Moses did hold a staff in the wilderness, and all who beheld it were healed of their infirmity. We are the Moses of present day, and our patients look up to us to deliver total health care (care of mind, body and spirit)
The Snake: Another ancient symbol of the medical profession, together with the staff.
The Dove:Will always stand for peace, what our souls so readily crave for. We are constantly reminded that we are instruments of peace, and must strive to establish peace in all homes.
The Chalice: Indicates that we have allowed the Holy Spirit to direct our lives in practicing our various vocations in the health sector in accordance with the doctrines of the Holy Catholic Church.
The Colours: Yellow and red in this content represent unrestricted, godly love for all patients, and a burning desire to get them into the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who alone is able to heal them. The white background represents purity.
On the way to the first convention in 2005, our founding members led by the spirit and filled with enthusiasm and zeal, scribbled down what is today known as the National Anthem.
Being your brother’s keeper has been an age long tradition of looking out for your brother hence the implementation of a symbiotic relationship between schools especially within the same zone. This has gone a long way in the uplift of some falling and unstable chapters. Till date, it has proven to be a vital cog in the fabrics of FECAMDS.
Our history cannot be complete without noting the names above only to reckon that they were arrowheads. Many others were the source of their strength and they spent time, energy, passion and tears to nurture our growth over these years. We pray for sustenance as we continue to serve humanity with diligence as well as obtain Grace for academic excellence.
DR. NWOJIJI EC