Period: January – March 2013
Dear friends and colleagues from around the world,
The quarterly period of January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013 was a very successful and busy one for all of us in the WPA, especially me.
During the period of January 10-12, 2013, we conducted one of the best planned, attended and organized WPA Regional Meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay. This event was organized under the aegis of the WPA President Action Plan for 2011-2014. It was well attended with about 1,000 psychiatrists not only from Paraguay, but from “Cono Sur” region of the WPA, especially from Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and other Latin American countries. This event was also planned and organized in collaboration with the “Asociación Psiquiátrica de América Latina (APAL)”, whose current President, Dr. Alfredo Cia joined us, was present, and fully participated in the scientific program of this event. The enthusiastic local collaboration of Dr. Andres Arco Ramirez was not only outstanding, but memorable as well. Without doubt, this unique and effective event will always be remembered in the Latin American Region of the WPA. The content of the “Educational Program” focused on: public health, addictions, child abuse, violence and mental health, early career psychiatrists, gender violence, family violence, primary care, forensic psychiatry and access to care. Needless to say, Paraguay is perhaps the country in most need of assistance in Latin America with respect to psychiatric access, care and prevention in Latin America. I have never felt more proud and fulfilled in my entire psychiatric career than during this event in Paraguay. The role of the WPA has never been more effective and appreciated than during this unique and much needed educational program held in Paraguay.
On February 22-23, 2013, I attended, together with Dr. Edgard Belfort, our WPA Secretary for Education and several other key psychiatrist leaders from Latin America, an excellent educational event held in a non-profit and large psychiatric hospital operated in Guayaquil, Ecuador, under the auspices of a “benevolence community-based Board of Directors”. This psychiatric facility fully operated via community contributions is over 100 years old, is being fully transformed into a state of the art psychiatric facility, and we had the opportunity to make relevant suggestions to the “Community Board of Directors”, professional staff, staff at large, and community leaders related to the improvement on the quality of the care offered in this hospital, whose Medical Director is our current WPA Zonal Representative for Northern South America (Zone 4), Dr. Fabrizio Delgado Campodonico. On this occasion, we also officially introduced the book on “Bipolar Disorders” authored by our WPA Secretary for Education, Dr. Edgard Belfort.
Finally, on March 20-22, 2013, I attended, together with Dr. Levent Küey, our WPA Secretary General, the “XXVII Central American Psychiatric Congress”. This event well attended, led by Dr. Tirza Merino Gomez, current President of the “Asociación Salvadoreña de Psiquiatría” was an excellent event. It also permitted me, Dr. Belfort, and Dr. Küey to deliver educationally driven lectures as part of our WPA Action Plan for 2011-2014. The President of the Psychiatric Societies of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic were also present. We additionally conducted a WPA Forum in which all the Presidents of the Central American Psychiatric Societies were present, as well as a group of psychiatric residents who were very much involved in the current educational needs insofar as psychiatry and mental health is concerned for this WPA region of the world. Needless to say, this WPA Forum was not only excellent, but also permitted us to actively plan future WPA activities in Central American countries, especially in the educational area. Without questions, this past quarter (January – March 2013) was very productive and effective for our current WPA leadership. I also felt not only honored with these very effective WPA activities, but very proud as well. I look forward to the next WPA activities and contributions to take place in the next 2013 quarter.
Pedro Ruiz, M.D.
WPA President (2011-2014)