Sidra Medicine yesterday concluded the 6th World Congress of the World Federation of Associations of Paediatric Surgeons (WOFAPS 2019) congress at Qatar National Convention Centre. The first-ever WOFAPS to take place in the Middle East and one of the largest international medical events, the Congress was attended by more than 800 delegates from 80 countries.
WOFAPS 2019 was held under the theme: ‘Collaboration, Education and Training: Moving Beyond Borders’, hosting a series of dedicated presentations and sessions on three main pillars related to paediatric surgery; state-of-the-art treatment in a resource-rich setting, optimal treatment in a resource-constrained setting, and complications, and how they should be handled.
Dr Mansour Ali, executive chair of Surgery at Sidra Medicine and co-chair of the WOFAPS 2019 Organising Committee said: “It gives me great pride to see Sidra Medicine host such a global event with the immense amount of knowledge and expertise in both local and visiting surgeons and doctors that participated in this conference. This year’s theme encapsulates our commitment at Sidra Medicine to progressing regional healthcare in general, and surgery for children in specific. Training, education, and access to hi-end technologies are all key to ensure every child receives the treatment they need. This is the ethical stance that WOFAPS takes and it reciprocates our vision.”
The WOFAPS is an endeavour to bring surgeons from around the world to work together towards the promotion of high standard paediatric surgery, encouragement of ethical practices, improvement of education and training of junior paediatric surgeons, and development of paediatric surgical research.
With an objective to create a platform for technical training and to leverage the bright minds who gathered in Doha, the conference saw a series of six pre- and post-congress workshops, including live surgeries, a dedicated urological scientific meeting, and full day urology sessions.
The workshops learning outcomes focused on describing; the etiology of the disease or surgical need, the state of evidence and practice standard, at least one of the common challenges, and one difference in surgical management related to occurrence in a high or low resource country. Visiting delegate, Dr Suad Abul, paediatric surgeon and director of Medical Licensing at the Ministry of Health in Kuwait, said: “The WOFAPS 2019 programme was designed to focus on surgical best practices and to identify the way forward for surgical diseases that threaten the quality and life expectancy of children. The Middle East region presents a huge disparity in healthcare, and this is where WOFAPS serves to fill the gap, offering access to well being to people everywhere, especially in this part of the world.”
Prof David Sigalet, chief of Patient Services at Sidra Medicine and president of WOFAPS 2019 said: “It was a very successful congress. There have been several discussions between healthcare practitioners, private sector organisations, surgeons, and policy makers that all agree to the importance of collaboration for training and nurturing calibres.
“Technology and research advances must be used to make high-quality healthcare services accessible by everyone, including resource-constrained countries. I believe there will be a number of fruitful collaborations announced soon from this meeting, and I am looking forward for the upcoming round in Prague, Czech Republic in October 2022,” Prof Sigalet concluded.
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