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XXIII IFSO World Congress

Dubai to host XXIII IFSO World Congress in 2018

The government of the United Arab Emirates has already recognised the health implications of obesity and has named obesity the and diabetes, along with cancer and heart disease, as its main healthcare priorities

At the XIX IFSO World Congress in Montreal (Canada), it was announced that Dubai, United Arab Emirates, had been awarded the honour of hosting the XXIII IFSO World Congress in 2018. Bariatric News talks to Dr Faruq Badiuddin, President of the GOSS 2014 meeting and President of the Emirates Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Interest Group about the privilege of hosting this prestigious event and what it means to bariatric surgery in the Gulf region.

“In terms of per head of population, the United Arab Emirates has one of the highest rates of bariatric surgery anywhere in the world. In the last year more than 4,000 procedures were carried out in a population of just over eight million,” said Dr Badiuddin. “The International Diabetes Federation also places the United Arab Emirates near the top of the countries with the highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and the situation in our country is replicated through the Gulf region. So I think for the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region to be hosting the IFSO World Congress in 2018 is very appropriate and a recognition of the battle against obesity, and its associated conditions, we are facing throughout the Middle East.”

Dr Faruq Badiuddin

“I would like to acknowledge the support of the Dubai government for their commitment in helping us in our successful bid to host the IFSO World Congress. I would also like to thank several international colleagues who offered a lot of encouragement and were great mentors in our journey that culminated in the win. There are many more people I would like to thank for their help and cooperation. It was very satisfying when we were announced as the hosts in 2018, but now the hard work really starts for “Team UAE” and GOSS.”

The government of the United Arab Emirates has already recognised the health implications of obesity and has named obesity the and diabetes, along with cancer and heart disease, as its main healthcare priorities. Nevertheless, Dr Badiuddin said, so much more need to be done to increase awareness and education amongst children and their parents about the dangers of obesity.

“As well as educating the general population, as bariatric surgeons we need to educate our fellow healthcare professionals about the benefits if bariatric surgery,” he said. “My own endocrinologist was very sceptical at first, but after I treated some of his most complex cases and their conditions improved he began to understand the life-changing impact of bariatric surgery. The key is involving the endocrinologists in the pre-operative care and for them to manage the patients post-operatively.”

The importance of multi-disciplinary approach to obesity will be a key component of the Second GOSS meeting in December 2014. According to Dr Badiuddin, the meeting is not just a gathering of bariatric surgeons but of allied healthcare professionals, dieticians, physical therapists, as well as physicians who will talk about obesity. 

“There will also be several live surgery cases, including a mini gastric bypass procedure which I believe is an emerging procedure and could be suitable for patients in the Gulf region,” he explained. “The fact you have a single anastomosis makes the procedure easier and we are now seeing very compelling data to supports its use, and the fears about anastomotic ulcers and bile reflux are probably overstated. Sleeve Gastrectomy seems to be emerging as the leading procedure worldwide and this is perhaps due to it’s simplicity, lack of long term complications and minimal incidence of nutritional deficits, and it’s ability for easy conversion to a revisional procedure should the need arise in the future.

In addition to parallel bariatric surgery and all allied healthcare professionals sessions, the meeting will also host a workshop on endoluminal therapies for obesity.

“I am pleased to see that the conference has attracted over 60 abstracts from the region alone and this is a sign that a healthy academic environment is building in the GCC region. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues from around the world to Dubai in December and hope they will enjoy a fantastic educational programme and all that our wonderful city has to offer,” he concluded.

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