Contributed by Dr. Stella Raymondo, IFCC National
As general information, Uruguay is one of the
smallest countries of South America with three million and a
quarter of people, and about of one hundred of
The Uruguayan Biochemical Association (ABU in
Spanish), a member of the IFCC in Latin America, is deeply
committed to the improvement of all professionals working in the
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine field. In order to
achieve that goal courses are organized, meetings arranged, and the
Association supports organizations. Among all the local events
planned by ABU, the one that deserves and requires most of our
attention is the Clinical Chemistry Congress, a highlight in our
cultural environment, held every two years in
This Congress is a cultural tradition that begun in
1997, and because of its importance, it's still standing. It is
considered one of the major scientific activities in the field of
Biochemistry in our country: a meeting where our professionals and
technicians can keep their knowledge up-to-date, find out about the
latest technologies introduced in the country, buy the latest
edited books, and... have fun while doing so, thanks to the social
activities held at the end of the day. Every other September the
Congress covers different topics, according to the needs and
interests expressed by the community. Previous meetings were based
on a single topic: two meetings ago it was the making of our own
reference values, and the last one centered on accreditation in the
clinical laboratory. However, this year the motto was 'Update and
New Strategies': instead of picking a single subject, a series of
state-of-the-art topics were chosen and presented to our scientific
community. The advertisement begun months before, through posters,
brochures, and the web page
The different activities of the Conference were
symposiums, courses, and general conferences. Every morning 90
persons attended to one of the three simultaneous courses held in
different rooms of the NH Columbia Hotel; every single course was
imparted by excellent researches and speakers, both from our
country and abroad. The different topics were:
- The various uses of Molecular Biology in the
clinical laboratory, a relatively new technique in our environment.
The course was taught by Dr. Patricia Esperón, Professor of
Molecular Biology in our Chemistry School, and well-known
researcher on Molecular Genetics issues such as genetics and
prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Spermograms, its importance, the studies it implies
and their interpretation. Dr. José María Montes, President of the
Uruguayan Association for Human Reproduction was the distinguished
lecturer of this course.
- Biological Variation and Reference Values. It was
imparted by our International Visiting Lecturer of IFCC, Dr. Xavier
Fuentes-Arderiu, whose work is world-wide known, and needs no
introduction from our part.
The different symposiums lasted 2 hours and were
attended almost 230 people, who had to choose among two
simultaneous activities. 14 different topics were chosen to be
worked on the symposiums: some of them were presented by Uruguayan
scientists, although 12 of all lectures were from differents
countries, such as Spain, Paraguay and Argentina. The chosen topics
for the symposiums were:
1.Immunity and Aterogenesis.
2.S.aureus community-acquiered infection
3.Bone marrow transplant.
4.Update in self-immune diseases.
5.New approaches in monitoring of therapeutic
6.Genetic aspects of cardiovascular
8.Update in Diabetes.
9.Advances in education and teaching of the Clinical
10.Health and Environment.
11.Update in Quality Management in the Clinical
The six different general conferences were at noon
and in late afternoon, while no other activity was happening.
Distinguished lecturers, great professionals in their work fields,
were invited for the conferences, which were based
1.Uncertainty in measurement. Dr. Xavier Fuentes
2.Management of Clinical Analysis Laboratory. Prof.
Dra. Montserrat Blanes (Paraguay)
3.Legal aspects of our trade. Dra. Clara Chames
4.Analytical guidelines in oral, faringeal and
facial infections. Prof. Dra. Laura Pivel.
5.Stem Cells Banks. Dr. Orlando Echegoyen
6.Mastering of Natural Forces, a challenge for
science: the SIS (Selective inverted sump) system. Ing. Rafael
The Congress lasted three days, from September
16th, until September 18th. It was a
satisfying experience, for both attendants and organizers. We're
all looking forward to the next experience, on September