‘The Spice Route’ is the Wonca South Asia Region working group for new and future doctors who have an interest in family/ general practice. It aims to promote excellence in this field and to address the challenges pertaining to global health. The creation of this group was inspired by the work of similar Wonca groups for new and future family/ general practitioners around the world: the Vasco de Gama movement in Europe, the Rajakumar movement in the Asia-Pacific region, Waynakay in the Ibero-americana region, and NAFFDONA in the North America region.
The Spice Route was officially inaugurated at the Wonca South Asia / General Practitioners Association of Nepal (GPAN) conference, in Kathmandu, in December 2010. Dr Ramnik Parekh made a presentation at the conference outlining the details of the group. Dr Sonia Chery, of the UK, described the need for such a movement and Dr Raman Kumar gave a sketch of contemporary scenario of training of GPs in India. The session was chaired by WONCA President, Prof Richard Roberts.
The Spice Route held its first pre-conference, in Mumbai, on December 16, 2001, at the Wonca South Asia region /FFPAI (Federation of Family Physicians’ Associations of India) conference held in collaboration with the AFPI (Academy of Family Physicians of India. This first The Spice Route pre-conference was inaugurated with words of blessing from senior colleagues, Prof Richard Roberts, Wonca President; Dr Preethi Wijegoonewardene, Wonca South Asia Region President; Dr Ramnik Parekh, FFPAI President; Prof Pratap Prasad, GPAN President; and Prof Kanu Bala, president of the Bangladesh Academy of Family Physicians. There was active participation from approximately 80 new and future family / general practitioners from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.