The Society of Radiographers of South Africa hosted the SORSA 2023 Congress in association with the International Society of MR Radiographers and Technologists (ISMRT), from 18 to 19 August 2023 at the Century City Conference Centre (CCCC) in Cape Town, South Africa. In keeping with the theme for the congress, ‘Radiography- a new dawn’, there were 3 separate tracts: namely the SORSA general tract, the education tract, and the ISMRT tract. SORSA welcomed the ISMRT to our shores to co-host at a congress in Africa, a first in Africa! We were graced with the presence of Dr Shawna Farquharson, an ISMRT past president, based in Australia, Ms Nina Salman, chair of the ISMRT Global Relations Committee from the UK and Ms Petronella Samuels, member of the ISMRT Governing Board from South Africa. SORSA as a long-standing member of the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) was extremely proud to host, Elizabeth Balogun, the ISRRT regional director for Africa to present, and to be present for the duration of the congress.

Our honoured guest speaker, Prof Jimmy Volmink, Dean Faculty of Medicine & Health Science at Stellenbosch University, very eloquently enlightened us on the ‘Key challenges for the future evidence-based medicine’. It was a privilege, to host Dr Mark Viner from the International Association of Forensic Radiographers (IAFR), who not only addressed us during the congress but also hosted the practical workshop on Forensic Radiography together with Kim Hutchings and Aladdin Speelman. The congress was hybrid, offering face-to-face and virtual attendance and presentations. Being the first congress post the COVID-19 pandemic, the delegate response was encouraging. Delegates were privileged to engage with distinguished international and national experts in our exciting field of Radiography and together map ‘a new dawn’.

The presentations were outstanding – SORSA would like to take this opportunity to thank the speakers once again for their valuable support. We were also exposed to the latest technological advances by the many vendors that were present at the exhibition – we appreciate the support from our sponsors and vendors for without their valued contributions, events such as these are almost impossible. The congress was accredited for CPD purposes offering CEUs in general and ethics. There were prizes offered to SORSA members by SORSA for best oral and best poster presentations and by the ISMRT for best oral presentation. SORSA would like to thank the delegates (in-person and virtual) for attending the congress for without your support there is no congress. We look forward to your valued, continued support at the next event in from 5 to 7 September 2025 (please refer to the flyer).

One of the delegates, a SORSA member from Bloemfontein, Dr Henra Muller, summarised her SORSA CONGRESS 2023 experienceas follows:

It was with great anticipation and excitement that I travelled to Cape Town. Seeing friends and meeting new colleagues face-to-face for the first time since the pandemic was a privilege and joy. The virtual attendance and presentations made this congress accessible to a wider audience. The variety of presentations by local and international experts made it difficult to choose what to attend, and the line-up offered something for everyone’s interest.

The ISMRT sessions highlighted interesting clinical approaches, experiences, and current research in magnetic resonance imaging. Radiographers learned about the regulatory aspects of Artificial Intelligence (AI), education, and how to implement AI. During the Radiation Protection session, presenters shared current debates on patient shielding, dose optimisation, DRLs and current research in South Africa. Poster and education presentations offered insight into students’ experiences and related research. The forensic radiography sessions were an eye-opener that every image is potential forensic evidence and sparked many attendees’ interests. The exciting research in radiography was showcased and kept attendees glued to their seats until the closing ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Personal highlights for me were the presentations of Prof Glenda Gray and Ms Balogun as the ISRRT Regional Director-Africa. The exhibition area was a hub for displaying technological advances, catching up with vendors, networking, and collaborating with colleagues and prospective postgraduate students. The exhibition area buzzed while all enjoyed the delicious food and entertainment during the welcome function. This social event allowed otherwise serious professionals to let their hair down on the dance floor. During the SORSA open meeting, I was again reminded of how important it is to be a member of the Society to take our profession forward.

Well done to the organising committee! Thank you to all involved in a most informative and enjoyable 2023 SORSA congress. The pictures, figures 1 to 5, show evidence of the outstanding event. So, we’ll see you all in Cape Town in 2025.

The above information was obtained from the SORSA newsletter, October 2023.

Figure 1: The SORSA National Council members met the ISRRT’s  regional director for Africa and the lSMRT invited speakers

Figure 2: Dr Fozy Peer (organiser) with Dr Mark Viner (UK) and Dr Aladdin Speelman (SA)

Figure 3: Dr Mark Viner with conference delegates

Figure 4: Good friends met at the SORSA ISMRT conference

Figure 5: SORSA President, Dr Riaan van de Venter

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