World Congress of Echinococcosis in Khartoum

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Khartoum is currently hosting an International Meet. It is the 25th World Congress of Echinococcosis. This is also the 2nd African Regional Hydatidology Congress. This Congress of International Association of Hydatidology (IAH) is in collaboration with Cystic Echinococcosis Sub-Saharan Africa Research Initiative (CESSARi) and Sudan Hydatid Society (SHS). The tops scientists and researchers of Hydatidology are in the capital city of Sudan. They are from more than 20 countries- Portugal, Germany, China, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Iran, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Kenya, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Tunisia, Grenada, Pakistan and South Sudan.

This Congress is being held at Friendship Hall from 23rd to 27th November’13. It was inaugurated by the Vice President of the Republic of Sudan H.E. Dr. AlHaj Adam. In his inaugural speech His Excellency welcomed all the International delegates attending the Congress. He reassured them that Sudan is a very safe country, contrary to what they may have thought or heard. He also said that this kind of International Congress in Sudan will not only benefit the people of Sudan but also the whole mankind. He regretted that US sanctions in Sudan were not only economic but also scientific because the researchers in Sudan are deprived of scientific papers but this kind of International Scientific meet breaks open the wall of embargo.

Prof. Mamoun Homeida the Health Minister of Khartoum State also spoke at the opening. Welcoming the delegates he said that the world is united at this conference to fight a disease. We were all busy in fighting against Malaria, HIV and TB and there was a drift from the neglected tropical disease of Echinococcosis. To fight this disease a partnership is required between the doctors of humans and animals as well. He complemented Prof. Mohamed Elamin Ahmed for his work done in the field of Hydatid cyst diseases in Sudan, being a Cardiac surgeon. Prof. Mamoun Homeida also proudly announced the successful elimination of Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) and Guinea Worm disease in Sudan.

Two top names in this field attending this Congress are Professor Peter Kern from Germany who is the President of WHO Informal Working Group on Echinococcosis (IWGE) who is also the Chairman of the Scientific Committee at the Congress and Professor Antonio Menezes da Silva from Portugal who is the President of International Association of Hydatidology.

The topics which will be discussed in the conference are Immuno-genetics of the disease; population screening; surgery and non-invasive procedures; diagnostics and challenges; prevention and control; and social and economical impact of Echinococcosis.

The term hydatid disease describes infection with the larval stage of Tapeworm –Echinococcus species. Transmission is from eggs found in faeces of dogs and accidentally swallowed, usually by children. The eggs develop over many years to form fluid-filled cysts in various organs, particularly the liver. The term Tapeworm describes a group of parasitic worms that live in the gut of animals, including humans. These infestations are found worldwide. They can be caused when humans consume raw or undercooked animal products that contain the worm larvae. Humans also become infested after close contact with animals like cats and dogs.

The Congress Chairman Professor Mohamed Elamin Ahmed has also scheduled a visit for the foreign delegates to the Kingdom of Kush to see Meroe dam, Jebel AlBarkal and the pyramids in the area. They will also taste delicious Sudanese cuisine of Kisra, Tamia and Asida.

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