November 2016    

The Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) unites all Catholic medical doctors and dental surgeons in all the 56 dioceses across the country. The Association works to promote personal and group evangelization; and to foster professional excellence and Catholic medical ethics, etc.

History of the Association

In the early 1980s, an international effort was made by the International Federation of Guild of Catholic Physicians, FIAMC, in Rome to get regional and national guilds of Catholic physicians formed. Dr. PI Okolo, one time president of the Nigerian Medical Association, and Professor Wilson, obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University of Ghana Medical School and Teaching Hospital at Korle-Bu, Accra in Ghana tried to get the WHO-Africa Regional Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Guilds formed and functioning, but that effort did not succeed.

In 1986, the Ibadan diocesan guild of Catholic physicians was inaugurated, and named the Catholic Association of Medical Practitioners (CAMP) under the leadership of Prof. MC Asuzu. In October 1992 the Association organized a national conference at the University of Ibadan Conference Centre on the subject of “Family Planning, Birth Control and Western Imperialism”. Many local, national and international organizations and participants took part in the conference including the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life, the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, Human Life International USA, the Human Life Protection League of Nigeria as well as the Baobab Press of the USA.

In 2006 the first national scientific  conference and annual general meeting of the association was held at Ibadan sponsored by Dr. Bazuaye. Subsequently, annual conferences preceded by annual retreats have been held in various dioceses; 2007 in Onitsha, Aba (2009), Warri (2010),  Owerri (2011), Lagos (2012), Abuja (2013), Enugu (2014) and Jos (2015), and Awka town in July 2016. We have used these conferences, either to try to start a local guild or to strengthen some of those local ailing centres.

The foundation executives elected at the conference in Ibadan in 2006, were Prof. MC Asuzu as president, Dr. Achiaka Emmanuella Irabor as secretary, and Dr. Chris Otigbu at Lagos as treasurer.  

They were replaced at the Owerri conference (2011) by the executive of Dr. Henrietta Maria Williams as president, Dr.Emma Okechukwu as secretary and Dr. Meg Mezie-Okoye as treasurer.

The present executive were elected at this year’s scientific conference and annual general meeting held July 7-10, 2016 at Archbishop Obiefuna retreat centre in Awka; the following officers were elected: Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu (president); Dr. Matthew Ashikeni (vice); Dr. Hadiza Agbo (secretary);  Dr. Callistus Akinyele (Asst. Sec);Dr.  Kanayo Onalu (financial sec); Dr. Teresa Nwachukw (treaurer); Dr. Mike Eze (PRO); Dr. Margaret Mezie-Okoye (internal auditor).

A number of milestones has been realized:

The guild is registered as an NGO with the Corporate Affairs Division of the Presidency under the name of the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN), and officially recognised and in working partnership with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and the Catholic Secretariat who granted the Association, juridical status.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria have appointed a Chaplain for the Association, Rev. Fr. Dr. Emmanuel Anagor, who is both a medical doctor and a priest.

Dr Henrietta Maria Williams has represented the association at the various International Federation of Catholic Physician Guild activities, (FIAMC).

The incumbent President, Dr Emma Okechukwu has worked hard to get the Federal Ministry of Health to accept to include natural family planning officially in the Federal Ministry Of Health documents as an officially recognised system of family planning in the country!

The membership has grown through social media platforms networking of Catholic doctors. Currently, the number is about 250, and growing. The second phase is to encourage everyone to identify with, and be active at their diocesan branch or institutional chapter closest to them.

The Association was represented at two national Laity Council of Nigeria events in Abuja and Awka in 2016. One was a conciliatory meeting convened by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria`s Episcopal chairman for the Laity (Bishop Ezeokafor).

The second meeting was attended by the national chaplain (Fr. Dr. Emmanuel Anagor), the PRO (Dr. Michael Eze) and the President, Dr Emma Okechukwu. The latter was a leadership training to awaken the Laity to its role as a Co-Responsible in the mission of the Church in Nigeria. The eras of laity being a submissive cooperator or passive collaborator with the clergy are over.

The present national executive have formed a number of Committees. The expectation is that diocesan branches and institutional chapters would replicate these committees so that members are involved in one committee or the other. We envisage them serving as avenues for nurturing leadership and professional innovations.

Next year’s scientific conference and AGM will take place in Port Harcourt in the first week of July 2017.


  1. Will the Nigerian Catholic doctors find the way to organizationally assist in the training and development of the needed Nigerian Catholic health workers?
  2. Can the future executives of our ACMPN lead in the establishment of the WHO-Africa branch of the federation of Catholic Doctors AS DUE or globally expected?
  3. Can the Association support delegates to attend international FIAMC events?

This is where we are now as ACMPN. So, the proper question now is “where do we go from here”? May God Himself, help us to be able to answer these yearning questions through Christ our Lord!

Attached are:-

  1. Our Constitution
  2. Communique of our 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting and Annual General Meeting.

Dr Henrietta Maria Williams

Board of Trustees