The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Regional Meeting with the theme “Comorbidity between Mental and Physical Disorders” hosted by the Egyptian Psychiatric Association was held in Cairo, Egypt from 26-28 January, 2011 at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel.
The meeting was attended by 1130 delegates (200 foreigners and 930 Egyptians) representing 35 countries which included; Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, UK and USA.
The meeting was attended by all WPA EC members, 4 zonal representatives and 5 council members as well as many presidents of WPA member societies.
The scientific programme included 45 sessions of which only 5 were industry supported. This meeting was the first meeting in the region with the theme “comorbidity between mental and physical disorders” which is one of the main activities of the WPA action plan for the triennium 2008-2011.
During the scientific programme, several presentations were given by speakers from other medical specialities which enriched the programme and discussion. This was of great benefit for psychiatrists in Egypt and the region to stress the importance of liaison psychiatry with other specialities. Two of the symposia discussed “Mind Heart Relationship” and “Comorbidity between diabetes and depression” which the WPA has just recently published books discussing these topics. There was a special symposium for early career psychiatrists chaired by the WPA President.
The meeting was well attended and we were lucky the meeting ended at noon on Friday and the demonstrations and the revolution by the youth that took place in Tahrir square stared 3 hours later!!!
The scientific programme of the meeting was jointly accredited by the Egyptian Medical Syndicate and the Faculty of Medicine Ain Shams University for 22 CME hours.
During this meeting there was a WPA executive committee meeting as well as a meeting for the WPA Planning committee.
This meeting also witnessed an important event; which was the official launch of the Arabic version of World Psychiatry (the official journal of the WPA) which will be available on the WPA website as well as a paper version distributed to psychiatrists in the Arab Region. The editorial board of the Arabic version is chaired by Prof. Ahmed Okasha with members from 12 different countries in the Arab region.
WPA Secretary for Meetings
The WPA EC and Planning Committee meetings were held during the above mentioned successful WPA Regional Meeting in Cairo, despite the extra-ordinary social circumstances.
In the name of the WPA, I would like to express my highest appreciation to all of the WPA officers, but especially to Professors Tarek and Ahmad Okasha for their excellent organizational skills which made the meetings to be held in order. Besides, I would like to thank for their efforts on transferring us to and hosting us at the “Okasha Psychiatric Health Resort” on January 29th night.
World leaders of psychiatry enjoyed the peacefulness of the hospital and the hospitality of our patients and the staff.
We cordially wish that peaceful days will come soon for all of our Egyptian colleagues and friends.
WPA Secretary General