• 01/07/2006

Medical conferences

During the months of April, May and June the Valencia Conference Centre has hosted a variety of major medical conferences. The first of these, held on 24April, was the 8th EHF (European Headache Federation) European Conference, which brought together medical experts, international organisations and a large number of Spanish patients, as well as representatives from other countries. During the conference, subjects such as the causes or possible cure for migraines, the abuse of pain killers as a cause or consequence of their becoming chronic etc. were broached. This disease, which constitutes a major health problem, hinders some 640,000 European patients from carrying out their normal activities. In Spain alone, over 3 million people suffer from migraine and this has a considerable effect on their quality of life, as well as causing huge economic losses on account of their need to take sick leave. Diagnosing the disease in time and treating it correctly from the start are key to avoiding its progress.

"We know today that an early reduction in the number of crises contributes to a better prognosis of migraine manifestations", explained Dr José Miguel Láinez, President of the European Headache Federation and of the 8th EHF Conference organising committee. Dr Láined explained during the meeting that "our aim is to bring together all those involved in the research into and treatment of headaches throughout Europe, in order to discuss all matters subject to current debate in the handling of these problems". Western society´s bad habits and lack of leisure have an influence, Láinez claims, on migraines. And what is more, Dr Láinez stated that the latest European surveys indicate a change in prevalence. "Twelve years ago 75% of the population suffered at least one episode during the course of their lives; the latest data gathered indicate that this percentage has increased to 87%".

Another medical conference was that organised by the Spanish Rheumatology Society (SRS). This event, held on 22 May, dealt with the most relevant aspects of the speciality and new advances in biological therapies to combat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren´s Syndrom and others. During the 32nd SRS Conference it was made clear that close to half the population suffers from some acute or chronic form of rheumatic disease. Such diseases constitute the most important cause of permanent disability and the third cause of temporary work disability. They are responsible for the majority of disability cases in Western countries and their welfare and social costs are higher that those of any other group of diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis alone costs around a thousand million euros a year in Spain.

The Spanish Pediatrics Association Conference, held on 1st June, was also very interesting. Pediatrics experts spent three days debating new developments in this field, during a meeting which may be considered of major relevance in Spain. The conference brought together prominent Spanish and international experts who dealt with some 60 aspects of current pediatrics such as adolescent disorders, violence at schools, overweight, attention to immigrants, antibiotherapies or vaccination. Payasospital, a non-profit making organisation made up of professional clowns trained specifically to perform in hospitals which carries out intervention programmes consisting of performances adapted to each child and its situation, and works in close cooperation with the pediatric units of Valencian hospitals, also participated in the Conference.

From 14 to 17 June the Valencia Conference Centre hosted the 13th National and 7th International Spanish General Medicine Conference. One of the conclusions it reached was that some 53% of patients who have been prescribed a course of antibiotics do not follow it through. The meeting included 14 workshops, 8 round table discussions, 7 debates with experts, 3 full lectures, 5 symposia, 2 projects and 2 book presentations.

Other medical conferences held at the Valencia Conference Centre in the last three months were the 12th Spanish Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Society Conference, the 13th Spanish Cardiovascular Surgery and Perfusionists Society Conference, and the Spanish Breast Pathology Society Meeting.