A Warmest Welcome to Our African Colleagues

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The publication of this issue of the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, volume 14, No. 4, marks another milestone for the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, and its official publication, the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery (WJPCHS). In this issue, we welcome our colleagues from the African Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery (Figure 1). We are delighted and proud to announce that the African Society has selected WJPCHS as the official journal of their organization. You will notice that their logo is now on the front cover of this issue!
 
The impetus for this association goes back to the very successful seventh Scientific Meeting of the World Society in Marrakesh, Morocco, June 15-19, 2022. This was the first meeting of the World Society on African soil and was also a Joint Meeting with the newly established African Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. The meeting, hosted by Drissi Boumzebra, was extraordinarily successful and included over 100 scientific presentations focusing on tetralogy of Fallot and rheumatic heart disease. At that meeting, the Governing Council of the African Society discussed with the World Society the potential to adopt the WJPCHS as their official journal. This was approved by the Governing Council of the World Society early in 2023.
 
The association of the African Society with the WJPCHS follows the affiliation of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society, and the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association with the WJPCHS in early 2019.1 That affiliation has been extraordinarily successful with multiple surgeons from those societies serving on the Editorial Board and innumerable excellent manuscripts submitted from the annual meetings of those two organizations.
Over the past 13 years, the WJPCHS has grown rapidly in terms of its impact and comprehensive content. The major focus of the WJPCHS continues to be surgery; however, it also recognizes the multidisciplinary approach required to care for children and adults with congenital heart disease. The Editorial Board represents every continent and includes not only surgeons but also specialists in the related fields of pediatric cardiology, critical care, anesthesia, perfusion, nursing, and pediatrics. The Editorial Board is committed to a peer review process that is rigorous, timely, and supportive of authors from all countries.
 
Given the exciting and important presentations and concepts presented in Morocco by our African colleagues, we anticipate that they will submit excellent manuscripts which will become strong additions to the articles published in the WJPCHS. To represent the African continent on the Editorial Board, the Governing Council has appointed Frank Edwin of Accra, Ghana, as an Associate Editor. Robin Kinsley from Johannesburg, South Africa continues as one of the original Consulting Editors. Other members of the Editorial Board from the African continent include Mark Awori from Nairobi, Kenya; Drissi Boumzebra from Casablanca, Morocco; Christopher Hugo-Hamman from Cape Town, South Africa; Ayman Shoeb from Cairo, Egypt; and Hervé Yangni-Angate from Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
 
The affiliation of the African Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, along with the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society from North America, the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association, and the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery will only strengthen and improve the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. The WJPCHS has become a focal point for the collegial sharing of ideas, surgical techniques, and opportunities to improve the care of children and adults with congenital heart disease. The motto of the African Society is “Together we go far.” We cannot envision a more appropriate statement to summarize the amalgamation of these four societies into one journal to advance the surgical care of children and adults with congenital heart disease around the world.

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