Health News

XIth AATM Conference concludes in Pakistan

Written by Saman Ansari

A wise person once said “Synergy and serendipity often play a big part in medical and scientific advances.”

Couldn’t agree more. The XIth Asian Association of Transfusion Medicine Conference (#AATM2015) took place in Serena Hotel, Islamabad, Pakistan from 9-11 October 2015. The event, as most believe was unforgettable.

The official host of the Conference is the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP), Pakistan. Other Collaborating partners are Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) and Pakistan Society of Haematology (PSH). Maj. Gen Muhammad Ayub,

Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer addressing participants

Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer addressing participants

Commandant, AFIP, Rawalpindi, is the Chief Patron of the Conference and Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, National Coordinator, SBTP, Government of Pakistan, is the Chief Organizer.

The conference was attended by a large gathering of more than 700 participants including international delegates from 15 different countries. The first day was graced by President of Pakistan Mr. Mamnoon Hussain’s presence and talk. It was a very successful, well organized 3 full day event comprising of 10 scientific sessions, workshops, poster presentations, industrial exhibitions, gala dinner, cultural evening and much more.

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Day 1: Sindh Medical Store Workshop on Immunohaematology

There were talks on status of Thalassaemia in Pakistan, Heamovigilance, Advances in Blood Screening and Stem Cell research to name a few. Stalls were organized by renowned companies like Abbott, Sure Bio-Diagnostics, Sind Medical Stores, Interex, Cerus, Roche, Excel labs, Hospicare Systems etc. Doctors, hematologists, health officials and students all alike came together and discussed ideas and advances for the betterment of people.

Personally, it felt like an ocean of knowledge under one roof there was so much to learn and gain and I am glad SBTP stepped forward to arrange it in such a splendid way. I especially liked the work of AFIP and deeply admire the efforts of the Karachi based NGO Omair Sana Foundation helping out children suffering from Thalassaemia. The conference was an eye opener for many students and professionals as few people were already aware about the level of work in Transfusion Medicine going on in Pakistan and abroad.

Background

Asian Association of Transfusion Medicine (AATM) is an association of member states working for the promotion of blood safety in the region. The primary objective of the Association is to promote scientific progress and develop uniform standards in Blood Transfusion Services in the region.

AATM organizes an Annual Conference every year in one of its 14 member states. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Iran, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Turkey. If you are a health care professional AATM also encourages you to become its member. Ambitious members can apply for their Fellowship program too. According to their website; “this program empowers AATM members to obtain training for a period of 4-6 weeks in an AATM designated foreign training center in a knowledge deficient area of the applicant’s country. There are a set of fellowship for medical doctors and another set for blood bank technologists.”

We look forward to the next year’s conference in Turkey!

For more pictures of the event click here.

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About the author

Saman Ansari

Saman is the founder of Biologydecoded.com- the first biology centric platform in Pakistan. She loves to digitalize science by writing and illustrating. She holds a masters degree in Virology and is interested in emerging viruses, vaccines and science magazines.