Contributed by Dr. Ghassan Shannan, SCLA President, IFCC Treasurer
ArabMedLab2006 was held under the Patronage of H E the Prime Minister of Syria who was represented by H E the Minister of Health.
The opening ceremony was special this time, as Dr. Maher Housami, the Syrian Minister of Health together with Dr. Ghassan Shannan, the President of the Syrian Clinical Laboratory Association presented Plaques of Appreciation to former and current presidents of IFCC & AFCB.
From left to right: Dr. Abdelghafour Guidera (Morocco) AFCB Past President, Dr. Rene Dybkaer (Denmark) IFCC Past President, Dr.Gerard Siest (France) IFCC Past President, Dr. Matthew McQueen (Canada) IFCC Past President, Dr. Mathias Mueller (Austria) IFCC Past President, H E Dr. Maher Housami, Syrian Minister of Health, Jocelyn Hicks (USA) IFCC President, Dr. Ghassan Shannan (Syria)SCLA President, Dr. Fouad Harb (Syria) AFCB Past President, Dr. Yousif Bilto (Jordan) AFCB Past President.
Professor Eyad Chatty, Professor of Pathology, former Minister of Health of Syria, presented the opening lecture of the congress. He presented his vision of "the Changing Role of Pathology in Management of Disease"
The opening ceremony was followed by Syrian folklore dancing, which was admired by the audience.
The scientific activity of the congress started at 09:00 hrs Saturday 29 April 2006 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Damascus, Syria with a symposium on Bone Disease. The scientific programme included 13 Symposia, 5 Plenary Lectures and 9 Workshops. The topics included, Infectious Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Application of ISO Standards in Laboratory Medicine, Allergy & Autoimmune Disease, Haematology & Coagulation Disorders, Molecular Profiling of Disease, New Technology & Management in Laboratory Medicine, Toxicology & TDM and Quality Management & Training in Laboratory Medicine.
Some 120 Posters were presented; the posters covered a wide range of topics in Laboratory Medicine.
60 speakers from 24 countries of Europe, Asia, Australia, North & South America, North Africa and the AFCB region addressed various topics of Laboratory Medicine. Several IFCC officers including the current and past presidents, in addition to FESCC executive board presented their experience through special symposia.
The Congress attracted some 1500 participants from 35 countries, with a sizable number of participants from Tunisia, Sudan and Palestine. The majority of participants were from the host country Syria.
An Industrial Exhibition accompanied this scientific activity. The exhibition attracted 32 local and international corporate members. About 2500 visitors visited the exhibition during four days.
The social programme was so distinct and allowed participants to explore the Syrian Music, Culture, Heritage, History and Exotic Cuisines.
The President Relaxing - from left to right: Lisa Ionescu (IFCC Office), Martin Myers (UK), Paola Bramati (IFCC Office), Jocelyn Hicks (US)
The congress was well organised and the scientific sessions were superb. Speakers as well as participants considered the congress a big success for the Syrian Clinical Laboratory Association; who was able to demonstrate that they are capable of organizing congresses with international standards.
The Scientific Division of the IFCC held its annual meeting at the office of SCLA. FESCC Executive Board and the Editorial Board of CCLM also held their meetings at the same office.
The General Council of AFCB held a meeting on Monday 1 May 2006 and elected a new Executive Board: Dr. Fouad Harb of Syria, President, Dr. Yousif Bilto of Jordan, Vice President, Dr. Abderazzak Hedili of Tunisia, Past President, Dr. Emad Etani of Lebanon, Secretary, Dr. Halema Al Alami of Morocco, Treasurer. Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco competed to host the XIIV Congress of AFCB. The council voted for Morocco to host ArabMedLab 2012.
The XII Congress of AFCB will be held in Beirut, Lebanon, May 2009.