ABOUT FIDSSA

The Constitution

Constitution of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa (FIDSSA)


  1. Name
    The Federation shall be called “THE FEDERATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES SOCIETIES OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (FIDSSA)" herein after referred to as the Federation and will currently consist of the following member societies:
    1. Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA)
    2. Infection Control Society of Southern Africa (ICSSA)
    3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Society of Southern Africa (STDSSA)
    4. The South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM)
    5. South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)
    6. Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)


  2. Liabilities
    The Society is a body corporate and is vested with all the powers and obligations required for achieving its objects
    1. Each incorporating Society shall maintain its own constitution and rights within the umbrella constitution, as described in Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, respectively
    2. The Federation is a body corporate and is vested with all the powers and obligations required for achieving its collective objectives
    3. No member of the Federation or member of the Council of the Federation shall be liable for fulfilling any obligation or settling any debts incurred on behalf of the Federation


  3. Purpose
    The purpose of the Federation shall be:
    1. To establish a common administrative structure which will provide secretarial or administrative support to its member Societies, if necessary
    2. To improve communication between member Societies and interest groups
    3. Generate support and contributions towards a single scientific Journal with high standards, encompassing all member Societies interests
    4. Improve congress support of a joint biennial congress at which all Societies will be equally represented


  4. Objectives
    The objectives of the Federation shall be:
    1. To advance the understanding of all infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), medical microbiology and virology, travel medicine and the control of hospital and community-acquired infections
    2. To promote the exchange of information relating to all aspects of infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), medical microbiology and virology, travel medicine and the control of hospital and community-acquired infections
    3. To foster greater collaboration between the clinically and laboratory based divisions of all the disciplines in the respective Societies
    4. To advise with regard to the training and maintenance of standards within the disciplines in the respective Societies
    5. To forge links with Federations and Societies representing similar interests throughout the world


  5. Membership
    The membership of the Federation will be made up of Societies that fulfil the aims and objectives of the Federation described in Article 3 and 4. Individual membership per se will be retained in the Federation except for the SASTM. Members shall consist of Honorary, Ordinary (Full) and Associate members of the Societies constituted in Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. Unless otherwise stated in the latter constitutions, membership shall consist of the following categories:
    1. Honorary membership. Any member of the Societies, seconded by two other members of the specific Society may nominate a person or persons for election as honorary members on the grounds of significant national or international contribution to microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, travel medicine, infection control thereof, or to the Federation. The Council shall consider such nominations. Honorary membership is retained for life and whilst honorary members will not be eligible for office, they may assist in policy development. They shall not be required to pay any membership fees.
    2. Ordinary membership of a relevant Society will be granted to medical practitioners, nurses, medical scientists, medical technologists and pharmacists who have made a contribution to the discipline of infectious diseases, infection control, travel medicine, microbiology or virology and who are registered with the South African Medical and Dental Council or other equivalent bodies
    3. Associate membership is offered to other interested parties such as members of the pharmaceutical industry involved with aspects of infectious diseases, lay healthcare workers and students who do not fully meet the criteria listed in 5.2
    4. All members of the Societies will have access to all communications and Federation publications
    5. Ordinary and associate members will be granted voting privileges and eligibility for election to the Federation Council, Federation Executive Committee or respective Council or Board of the Societies as constituted in Article 6 and 7 or Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, respectively
    6. Membership is dependant on the payment of a single Federation membership fee, one for doctors and one for nurses and students
    7. For societies other than SASTM, membership is dependent on the payment of a fee to the Secretariat.
    8. For societies other than SASTM, the membership fees will be determined in a manner constituted in Article 8.
    9. All paid-up members of societies shall share the following benefits:
      1. Secure access to the FIDSSA website through an individual member login.
      2. Reduced registration fees to the biennial FIDSSA conference
      3. Access to a hard copy of Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection.
      4. Access to all educational material offered by FIDSSA, which was instigated prior to 1st January 2011, including CPD points for Case of the Month and the FIDSSA Quarterly.
    10. All societies other than SASTM, will be eligible to access grants and any other opportunities that are directly administered through the FIDSSA office, that have been launched after the 1st January 2011. As no part of the SASTM membership fee is paid to FIDSSA, SASTM members will not be eligible for these benefits. However, should any individual SASTM member pay the FIDSSA membership fee in addition to their SASTM membership fee, they will be eligible for full benefits open to FIDSSA members.


  6. Office Bearers and Transaction of Business
    1. Council
      A Council shall conduct the business of the Federation, which shall consist of the president, immediate past president, the secretary, the treasurer plus thirteen (13) Council members:
      1. Of the 13 additional members, the following seven (7) will be permanent appointments on the Council:
        1. President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa
        2. President of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Society of Southern Africa
        3. Chairperson of the Infection Control Society of Southern Africa
        4. Chairperson of the South African Society of Clinical Microbiology
        5. President of the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)
        6. President of the Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)
        7. The Editor of the Journal


      2. The remaining six (6) Council members will be a nominated and elected ordinary member of each of the Societies, preferably at least one nurse and/or a non-prescribing health-care professional
      3. The Council shall have the power to co-opt members if necessary
      4. The Council shall have the power to appoint subcommittees for special tasks, if deemed necessary or requested from the Societies; delivery of such subcommittees will be within a given mandate and time frame
      5. Election and terms of office
        1. The Council members shall be appointed/elected for a four (4) year term and may be eligible for re-election
        2. The Council shall appoint a president elect, who will be inducted at the next biennial business meeting of the Federation
        3. Nominations for the president and other officers shall be made by the members of the Council on nomination forms and shall reach the secretary four (4) weeks before the biennial Council meeting
        4. Each nomination shall bear the signature of at least two members of the Council as pro-poser and seconder and shall have been accepted in writing by the nominee
        5. Election of officers to the Federation’s Executive Committee shall be by majority vote of the members of the Council present at the biennial meeting; provided however, that if the biennial meeting is not held the officers, whose terms would have expired, will continue in office until the next meeting
        6. Nine (9) members shall form a quorum at a Council meeting; at least two (2) of these shall not be a member of the Executive Committee
        7. Meetings of the Council will take place at convenient times prior to or after the business meeting of the Federation
        8. In the event of the death or resignation of a Council member the Council shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term of office
        9. If there should be a deadlock on any decision at a business, committee or meeting, the president will have a deliberative as well as a casting vote
        10. No Council member shall receive remuneration for services to the Federation


      6. Secretary
        1. The secretary shall notify the members of the Council of a forthcoming meeting at least three (3) month beforehand and shall notify them of the agenda one (1) month before the meeting
        2. The secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings of the Council’s biennial meetings
      7. Treasurer:
        1. The treasurer shall be responsible for fiscal management and will have signatory powers on cheques together with a designated member of the Executive Committee
        2. The treasurer shall report on the financial status of the Federation and its members by presenting a treasurer’s report and an external audited balance sheet at the biennial meetings of the Council, as well as the business meeting of the Federation
        3. The treasurer may, if required or deemed necessary, also present each board or council of the respective Societies, an external audited balance sheet at the biennial general meetings of the Societies


    2. Executive Committee
      An Executive Committee shall be elected at the first meeting of Council following each election
      1. The Executive Committee will consist of the president, the secretary, the treasurer and five (5) members of the Council, of which at least one (1) should preferably be a nurse or non-prescribing health-care professional
      2. A quorum of the Executive Committee shall be four (4) members
      3. The Executive Committee shall hold office for four (4) years
      4. The Executive Committee will meet when necessary


  7. Congress
    A biennial meeting of the Federation representing the member Societies shall be held at least every two (2) years at a venue decided by consensus and will rotate amongst the major cities of South Africa
    1. The city will be approved at the business meeting of the Federation and the date approved by the Council
    2. The program of this biennial meeting shall include:
      1. Scientific, instructional sessions and exhibits
      2. The biennial business meeting of the Federation
      3. The biennial Council meeting of the Federation
      4. The biennial General Meetings of the Societies as constituted in articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20
    3. The biennial meeting of the Federation may, at the discretion of the Council, be held in conjunction with any other interested societies or parties involved in furthering the advancement of medical microbiology, virology, infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), travel medicine and the control of hospital and community-acquired infections
    4. Local organizing committee (LOC):
      1. The arrangements for the biennial meeting of the Federation shall be made by a LOC that will be representative of all Societies
      2. Each Society to nominate a suitable candidate
      3. This committee will elect a chairperson and shall have the power to co-opt any other members of the Societies should it be necessary
      4. Most of the appointed members of the LOC should preferably reside in the same geographical area where the biennial meeting is scheduled to take place but is not mandatory
      5. The nominated members of the LOC shall be responsible for decisions regarding the “theme of the congress”, academic programme including plenary and parallel sessions of each Society, acceptance of papers and social programme
      6. The Council, in conjunction with LOC, shall be responsible for decisions regarding the acceptance of the planning budget as constituted in Article 7.5
      7. The event manager to arrange a congress launch cocktail party for pharmaceutical sponsors at least one year in advance
      8. The LOC and event coordinator shall be accountable and a short report, full financial statement and audited accounts shall be submitted for approval to the Council within six (6) months of the conclusion of the meeting
    5. Congress budget:
      1. The congress budget to determine five important aspects:
        1. Affordability of the congress with minimum sponsorship
        2. Extent of the registration fee
        3. Extent of sponsorship for invited speakers, opening function and gala dinner that will be required to break even, given a reasonable registration fee
        4. Realistic exhibition income, and therefore the minimum number of exhibitors needed
        5. Depending on host city (travel and accommodation costs), total cost per local invited speaker (inclusive of wavering of registration fees)
      2. With regards to Article 7.5.1, the event coordinator to submit a budget to the Council/LOC for approval at least 12 months ahead of proposed congress followed by monthly progress reports
      3. Invited speakers
        1. International speakers: Limited to one per society, sponsored by pharmaceutical company or paid for by FIDSSA (unless additional sponsorship is procured) and give at least two talks, one at a plenary and one at a parallel session
        2. Local out-of-town and in-town speakers will be limited per society according to budget unless sponsorship is procured and also to give at least two talks
    6. The congress organizing committee shall be accountable and a short report, full financial statement and audited accounts shall be submitted for approval to the Council within six (6) months of the conclusion of the meeting
    7. After conclusion of Article 7.6, any revenue or profit from the congress may be utilized if necessary, to cover:
      1. If Journal (referred to in article 9) is not profitable, any outstanding printing costs as well as any outstanding annual honoraria payable for secretarial services provided to manage the Journal
      2. If salary of the secretariat is not sponsored or covered by Society membership fees (other than the SASTM), any outstanding fees due to them
      3. After ratification and endorsement by the Council of the extent of the contribution, above payments to be divided in equal proportions amongst the member Societies of the Federation
    8. After conclusion of Article 7.7 in event of such payments not be necessary, any revenue or profit from the congress to be divided in equal proportions amongst the member Societies of the Federation
    9. A summary of the proceedings shall be circulated afterwards to all the members of the Societies either as part of a newsletter or as a separate item or as proceedings in the Journal
    10. Business meeting of Federation:
      1. Written notice of the business meeting shall be sent to all members of the Societies at least three (3) months before the date of such meeting and shall be notified of the agenda one (1) month before the meeting
      2. During this meeting, the president will deliver a report on the activities of the Federation and induct the president elect, if applicable
      3. Any member of the Societies, may bring before this meeting, any matter of business requiring the attention of the Federation; notice of such business shall be made to the Secretary in writing before the meeting, and shall be included on the agenda
      4. Quorum: Twenty (20) members present of whom at least six shall be officers, at least two of whom will be permanent members of the Council as constituted in Article 6.1.1
    11. Special or ad hoc meetings:
      1. Special or ad hoc meetings of the Federation may be called by the President at such times and places as may be determined by a majority vote of the Council; a subcommittee can be appointed and instituted for special tasks
      2. Written notice, stating the purpose, place and hour of any special meeting shall be sent to each Society member not less than one (1) month before the date of such meeting
    12. Any local branch of any Society in accordance with the respective constitutions may organize special meetings or day congresses
      1. Any profit of such local meetings or day congresses to be expended subject to the control of the council, board or office bearers of the respective Societies, in a manner which is respectively constituted in article 14,15,16,17, 18, 19 and 20


  8. Subscription, Dues and Funds
    The administration of the Federation will collect except in the case of the SASTM, annual subscriptions on behalf of its member Societies. The subscription fee for membership of the Societies and for nurses or doctors shall be determined by a majority vote of members of the Societies at the biennial Business meetings of the Federation
    1. Failure to pay subscriptions within a set period will render the member liable to loss of privileges
    2. Subscription fees shall be paid before the 1st January of each year for that calendar year’s membership
    3. The secretariat and treasurer will send out accounts to all members of the Societies and will collect the dues on behalf of the Societies
    4. Honorary members shall be exempt from dues
    5. Membership subscription funds to the Societies shall be deposited (and allocated to the relevant Societies) in the joint bank account of the Federation in a recognized financial institution
    6. Disposal of membership fees shall be as follows:
      1. 60% of the membership fee shall be paid over to the Society that the member denotes as the primary affiliated society.
      2. 20% of the membership fee shall be paid to the FIDSSA secretariat to cover the costs of administration.
      3. 20% of the membership fee shall be paid to the treasurer of the Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection (SAJEI).
    7. Grants and Endowments: The Council is authorized to accept in the name of the Federation or respective Societies, any grants or endowments which are designated for administration and use by the Federation or Societies, provided that the purpose of such grants and endowments is, in the judgment of the Council, consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Federation or the different Societies
    8. The subscriptions, grants and endowments shall be allocated accordingly to each Society and expended, subject to the control of the council, board or office bearers of the respective Societies, in a manner which is respectively constituted in article 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20
    9. The Council is empowered on request by a Society, to invest the capital of each Society as they consider advisable but otherwise, as stated in article 8.7, have no financial control over the funds of each Society
    10. The treasurer shall present an audited financial report on the financial status of the Federation and each of the Societies at the biennial Council and Business meetings of the Federation


  9. Journal
    The official journal of the Federation will be The Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection
    1. The Journal will be published and distributed to all members of the Societies on a quarterly basis
    2. The editorial board will be representative of all member Societies
    3. A subcommittee of the editorial board will be appointed to assist inexperienced members of the Societies, in preparing relevant papers that are of the required standard for submission and approval


  10. Amendments to Constitution
    Any amendments to the Constitution of the Federation will be dealt with as follows:
    1. Amendments shall first be submitted in writing to the Secretary for consideration by the Council
    2. Thereafter the proposed changes together with the Council’s recommendations shall be circulated to all members of the Societies at least one (1) month before the biennial Business meeting of the Federation
    3. A two-thirds majority vote of those present at the Business meeting of the Federation will be required for adoption of the proposed amendments


  11. Database
    The Federation secretariat to keep and maintain a separate database of all members of the respective societies except in the case of the SASTM, for which a separate database will be maintained in conjunction with the SASTM administration. The FIDSSA database is not for distribution unless for bona fide Society purposes. Requests for details of members of the Societies by for example pharmaceutical or medical companies to be dealt with as follows:
    1. A request for details and any other requests that are received such as suitable advertisements, position and vacancies should be vetted by the executive committee.
    2. If acceptable, rather than giving out a list, a quote should be given with a charge to the Federation after which the secretariat to send out the e-mail on their behalf


  12. Legal Personality
    The Federation is a legal entity that exists independent of its members, has perpetual legal succession, regardless of the variation of membership and is a non-profit making organization
    1. The Federation can act as a defendant or plaintive in any competent court
    2. The Federation can obtain, retain or expropriate its own assets and can deal with them and can undertake its own obligations
    3. These assets and liabilities are independent of each individual member’s assets and liabilities.


  13. Internal Audit
    An internal annual audit will be performed by a member of the Federation in good standing and who is not a member of the Council

  14. Dissolution
    Any Society has the right to terminate membership to the Federation, with due notice been given. In the event of the Federation being dissolved the remaining assets shall be paid to a non-profit organization devoted to medical research to be designated by the majority of the Council holding office at the time of dissolution

  15. Constitution of the Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA)

  16. Constitution of the Infection Control Society of Southern Africa (ICSSA)

  17. Constitution of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Society of Southern Africa (STDSSA)

  18. Constitution of the South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM)

  19. Constitution of the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

  20. Constitution of the Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)

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