WONCA South Asia meets in Dhaka - conference report

Participants from home and abroad at the WONCA South Asia Regional Conference 2015 in Dhaka.

Conference & Participants:

The WONCA South Asia Regional Conference 2015 was held in the City of Dhaka on 13 and 14 February 2015 at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel. There were Pre-conference activities on 12 February 2015. In total, 398 enthusiastic delegates attended from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Thailand, UK, France, Switzerland, Turkey, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Japan and from Bangladesh in different categories as follows:
A. Invited Speakers : 33 [25 Foreigners]
B. Foreign Delegates : 53
C. Bangladesh Delegates : 264
D. Foreign Spice Route : 18
E. Bangladesh Spice Route : 30

Inauguration Session:

photo: Prof Michael Kidd-WONCA World President declaring the WONCA SAR Conference 2015 open at the Inauguration Session.

Professor Michael Kidd, WONCA President, was the Chief Guest at the Inauguration Ceremony, while Prof Paratap Narayan Prasad, WONCA SAR President, and Mr Zaved Akhter, Brand Building Director of Unilever Bangladesh Limited were the Special Guests. Prof Ainul Islam Choudhury, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, chaired the session and Prof Kanu Bala, Organizing Chairman, delivered the welcome address.

Dr Ramnik Parekh and Dr Jyoti Parikh were offered “WONCA SAR 2015 Award” for their significant contribution for the development of family medicine in the sub-continent, especially encouraging young doctors to come in this specialty. For this reason we named the award as “Friends of the Young Doctors”

Photo: Drs Ramnik and Joyti Parekh receiving the ‘WONCA SAR 2015 Award’ from Prof Ainul Islam Choudhury-Chairman Conference Committee and from Prof Michael Kidd, WONCA World President.


Bangladesh Academy of Family Physicians and Bangladesh College of General Practitioners were the Conference Organizers while Unilever Bangladesh Limited was the Conference Partner. Bangladesh Institute of Family Medicine & Research, University of Science & Technology Chittagong, MRCGP [International] South Asia and Spice Route Movements were the Supportive Organizations.

Invited Speeches: 

Photo: At the end of the ‘national Prof N. Islam Memorial Lecture’ and ‘Conference Theme Lecture’ [L-R] Prof S. A. Mahmood, Chairman; Prof Pratap Narayan Prasad, Chairman; Prof Michael Kidd; Prof Kanu Bala; and Mr A I Islam, Chairman of the University of Science & Technology Chittagong.

A total of 33 world class orators from different countries, presented 38 speeches on different topics of Family Medicine. Prof Michael Kidd delivered the key-note speech - the “National Prof N. Islam Memorial Lecture”. The topic was ‘A friend to those in need’ – delegates highly appreciated the content and mode of delivery of the speech. A ‘shal’ and a crest were presented to the lecturer. The theme of the conference was ‘Family physician is a member of the family’. Prof Kanu Bala delivered the ‘Conference Theme Lecture’.

Two lunch symposia covered two hot topics of family medicine.

Research Papers & Work Shops:

A total of 38 research papers were presented by researchers of different countries. The WONCA Working Party for Women and Family Medicine [WWPWFM], MRCGP [International] South Asia, and Spice Route Movements organized three workshops. A good number of participants attended the workshops.

Photo: WONCA Working Party for Women and Family Medicine members: at left, Dr Nasim Jahan (Bangladesh) who delivered a paper on Violence against women and at right, Dr Sameena Shah who co-facilitated the WWPWFM workshop.

Cultural Events:

Delegates were not only busy with academic sessions, they also enjoyed a good cultural evening and sumptuous dinner. Young and senior delegates of home and abroad joined the songs and dance programmes.

Photo: At the cultural evening enthusiastic participants are dancing.

WONCA Participation:

The WONCA SAR 2015 Conference is a confernce of WONCA, we are the local organizers only. From the WONCA side, Dr Garth Manning, WONCA CEO, and Prof Pratap Narayan Prasad, WONCA SAR President, maintained full time communication with Prof Kanu Bala, Organizing Chairman and gave suggestions when necessary. Prof Michael Kidd, WONCA World President always rendered his blessings for the conference.

Photo (l to r)  Prof Pratap Narayan Prasad, WONCA SAR President; Prof Michael Kidd, WONCA World President; Dr Garth Manning, WONCA CEO; and Prof Kanu Bala,
WONCA SAR 2015 Organizing Chairman.

Conference Outcomes:

The conference was well organized and well participated in by Family Physicians who were enlightened with scientific facts suited for professional practice and updated in their Academic knowledge in Family Medicine. This conference certainly strengthens the academic and personal relations among South Asia Regional doctors.

Prof Kanu Bala

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