The National Medical Association (NMA) in the US has appointed its new executive leader to take control of the nation’s oldest and largest medical association.

Former US congressman Kweisi Mfume will be working as a civil rights leader to tackle health disparities and promote health policy priorities.

He will represent the interests of more than 30,000 physicians of African descent and their patients.

Mfume said he has dedicated his life to ending the economic and social barriers that continue to confront people of colour all across the nation.

“We have a long way to go to truly eliminate health disparities, but now is the time to work with political, medical and community leaders to make that vision real,” Mfume said.