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ASPAE Conference Report

Sub-Saharan summer school in Lagos Nigeria, March 11-15, 2019

By Chizo Agwu, United Kingdom

It was my privilege to represent ISPAD at the 10th annual conference of the African Society of Paediatric and adolescent Endocrinology (ASPAE) which was held in Lagos, Nigeria. The theme of the conference was Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders in African Children: Moving from Just Surviving to Optimal Care. The sub themes of the conference included:

·         Diabetes Education in the Sub - Sahara Africa.

·         Financing Paediatric Endocrinology in Africa.

·         The role of endocrine and metabolic screening programs in our healthcare system.

·          Bone health and Growth monitoring in Sub - Sahara Africa are we achieving our goals

 

There were 70 delegates from various countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Botswana, United Kingdom, Belgium, USA and India. This was my second ASPAE conference and it was pleasing to note the progress that have been made. In many African countries, many more children with diabetes are surviving and quality of care was improving. I presented a plenary on behalf of ISPAD on the topic ‘Peer Review and Benchmarking: Tools to improve Diabetes service’. There were symposia and workshops covering the subthemes. Other diabetes specific topics covered included neonatal diabetes, update on Type 2 diabetes, Controversies in DKA management, dealing with adolescents with Type 1 diabetes, Diabetes Technologies, Diabetes Camps, Carbohydrate counting of African foods amongst other topics. There were many inspirational presentations highlighting both the challenges and successes of practising in Africa.

Prior to the conference, there was a sub-Saharan summer school attended by 38 participants who were mainly graduates of both the PETCA and PETCWA schools.  There were case reports, presentations on latest updates on diabetes and endocrinology care. These stimulated interesting discussions especially on how to adapt many aspects of care to the African situation. In addition to the conference activities, it was not all work, we enjoyed Nigerian hospitality, traditional Nigerian food, a cultural evening that featured traditional African songs. The main excursion was a visit to a local market where we were able to buy arts and crafts as well as local fabrics. Both the summer school and conference were a success. It was an opportunity to exchange ideas, make new friends and get reacquainted with old ones. The next ASPAE conference will be in Botswana 2020.

 

 

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