CF Worldwide hosts 1st Annual Balkan Region CF Conference with support from EuroCare CF
Skopje, Macedonia 17 – 18 April 2009
The Minister of Health of Macedonia, Dr. Bujar Osmani, opened the Skopje conference to over 200 attendees from multiple countries in the region and CF Doctors from as far away as Norway and the United States. The conference was hosted in collaboration with CF Association of Macedonia and contributing organizations such as CF Europe and EUROCare CF.
The Cystic Fibrosis Educational Team delivered deep dive information on cystic fibrosis treatment and management. The conference concentrated on 3 main groups, Medical Doctors ranging from Pulmonologists to Gastroenterologists, Allied Health groups, nutrition, nursing and physiotherapy and patients and families including CF organizations.
Medical Education concentrated on the needs of the region i.e. necessary Hygiene practices, control of cross contamination among patients and over all clinic standards for quality care. Dr. Harry Heijerman, CFW Medical Advisor, worked in collaboration with the European CF Society, Royal Brompton Hospital CF Center and Leeds Regional Adult CF Unit, to develop the CFW Medical Educational Program. Topics included From Gene to Disease, Prevention of Chronic Infection with PA, ABPA, Haemoptysis, Pneumothorax, and other pulmonary complications and Diagnosis and Treatment of Pancreatic Insufficiency.
The Allied Health workshops were active and very well attended with over 30 participants. The European CF Nurses Group, International Physiotherapy Group for CF and the European CF Nutrition Group for CF provided the agenda with lead speakers and educators. Topics such as “Nutrition and Enzymes: That’s Where It Starts!,” Physiotherapy; Inhalation therapy, airway clearance and physical exercise, Centre Care and management. Feedback from the Allied Health attendees included requests for expanded practical workshops.
Over 80 attendees joined the Family, Patient and CF Organization 2 day portion of the conference. CF Worldwide offered a wide variety of topics organized in close partnership with CF Association of Macedonia and CF Europe. The CF Europe President, Karleen De Rijcke presented information on CFE activities, network and possible supporting options for CF organizations belonging to the EU. CF Macedonia arranged for CF patients to speak on topics such as “Adult with CF” What can we achieve?, Being a CF Parent” Where are the answers? And on “How to successfully Lobby for CF in the Balkan Region?”, presented by CF Macedonia President, Snezana Bojoicin. CF Worldwide presented topics on capacity building for CF associations such as building strategic plans and offered fundraising and volunteering tips from a CF Patient and active CFW volunteer, Marc Basteinsen.
CF Worldwide greatly appreciated the conference supporters. EUROCare CF contributed to the costs of travel and accommodations for most of the speakers and offered grants to medical professionals from EU countries, working as part of a CF care team, to attend the conference. Alkoloid, Skopje, funded lunches, a professional photographer and disks of images from the conferences and provided the conference bags. Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Hoffman La Roche both contributed to the venue, technical costs, translators and speaker travel costs. CF Belgium donated flutters to all families and CF Macedonia offered a great group of hard working volunteers, conference bag gifts and brought in pharmaceutical supporters. The Swedish Lions Club contributed to printed materials and educational tools for those who attended the Lay conference. A follow up conference in the Region is being planned for May 2010 in Croatia in collaboration with the Croatian CF Association.