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Dear colleagues, The time is approaching for ESPE 2008 and I am happy to announce that the scientific programme is ready and will include 8 plenary lectures, 9 symposia, 2 interactive sessions, 2 new technology sessions, 9 ‘meet the experts’ sessions and poster presentations. Further programme details can be found at www.espe2008.org. It is the first time in ESPE’s 47-year history that the annual meeting is going to be held in Turkey, at the Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC). The theme of the meeting will be ‘Paediatric Endocrinology and Public Health’, and will highlight various paediatric endocrinology and diabetology topics that have an emphasis on important public health issues. The early diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders is important, not only for reducing associated mortality and morbidity but also for enhancing quality of life, and for improving long term outcome. ESPE 2008 will cover topics such as the early detection and treatment of congenital endocrine disorders, as well important public health issues related to nutrition and the increasing incidence of obesity in childhood and adolescence. The Istanbul meeting will also discuss the social-endocrine perspective of child health. Whether you are a basic scientist or clinical researcher or clinician you will find the scientific programme interesting, with a record number of abstracts (more than 800) from different countries submitted for free oral communications and poster presentations. ESPE is aware of the importance of safeguarding the environment and the 2008 meeting will be an environmentally friendly event. The amount of printed material has been decreased this year, meaning that more trees have been saved. This year’s meeting is also important because it is the first time that the annual conference has been organized in a city that has a ‘foothold’ in both Europe and Asia. Therefore, to mark the occasion we have invited speakers from Asia, China and India, and for the first time will host a joint JSPE/ESPE lecture. Furthermore, in celebration of ESPE’s european origins, an ‘ESPE 2008 Memorial Forest’ with 3000 trees has been designed, and the first trees have recently been planted. The ‘ESPE Memorial Forest 2008’ is located on Mount Izmir, 450 km from Istanbul, and will act as a symbol of the society’s ‘growing’ future. Every delegate at this years meeting will have a tree planted on their behalf and will receive a certificate to commemorate this historic event. I hope everyone attending this 47th annual ESPE meeting will have the opportunity to share in the recent developments and scientific advances made in paediatric endocrinology and will find inspiration in the atmosphere of a historical city that has been the capital of three successive empires, both western and oriental. Hope to see you in Istanbul.
Istanbul, the former capital of three successive empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, is a fascinating mixture of past and present, old and new, modern and traditional. You will find the museums, churches, palaces, mosques and bazaars, and the sights of natural beauty inexhaustible. As the Nobel prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk suggests, “what gives this city its special character is not just its topography or its buildings, but rather the sum total of every chance encounter, of every memory, letter, colour and image jostling in its inhabitants' crowded memories.” Hence, to truly discover Istanbul's historical and cosmopolitan beauties, you actually have to live in it, breathe its air, and feel its beat. Yet, don't despair, there is still much to be experienced even if you are visiting for a short time, and Istanbul will welcome you with open arms, like it has done for many others before you. The 1001 Column Cistern where the ESPE Evening will take place is the old Byzantine water storage for the city, dating back to the 4th century. With its historic columns now lit in a romantic fashion, its current ambiance can fascinate even the savviest traveller. And then there are other musts, with worldwide reputations: The Blue Mosque, famous for its blue Iznik tiles from the 17th century; Hagia Sophia, formerly a church, now a museum famous for its architectural mastery; Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans famous for its large collection of porcelain, weapons, treasure and jewellery; the grand bazaar, the oldest and largest covered bazaar in the world; and the Chora Museum, adorned with Byzantine mosaics and icons. Don't forget that when visiting mosques, you will be required to take your shoes off, so mind that you don't get caught like the former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz! (For an article describing the following events of the Turkish Sock Industrialists' Association sending Wolfowitz good Turkish socks, see the article 'Turkish Entrepreneurs Rush to Wolfowitz's Aid' in the Turkish Daily News, Turkey's English newspaper since 1961. Available at http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=65319). While you spend hours marvelling at the historical inheritance of Istanbul, most Istanbulites will of course continue with their lives, scurrying past the tourist sites, busy meeting the demands of modern life. For a taste of this contemporary life, walk along the coastal parts of town to see beautiful views of the Bosphorus, or wander around Istiklal Avenue to feel the never dying energy of the nightlife. To literally feel the beat of the city at live music venues, consult the NY Times article, ‘Istanbul’s Beat is International’, which can be found at http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/ 05/11/travel/11surfacing.html. And don’t forget – even if you have been to Istanbul before, never doubt that the ever-evolving imperial city will offer you something new this time as well: the Bosphorus bridge now has picturesque lighting, don’t miss it. FEYZA DARENDELILER, ISTANBUL, TURKEY ESPE 2008 Local Organising Committee
ESPE Working Group Updates
In previous newsletters, I reported on the concept of the ESPE training centres, the successful grant application, and the call for volunteers. I am glad to report that we have had more ESPE member volunteers than were required for the 2008 project in Nairobi. However, we still have openings for 5 more volunteers for 2009, and we welcome applicants for the 2010 tutorship. Several bodies assisted us, and I mention them with great respect: • The World Diabetes Foundation. A donation of €297,000 has been available to run the Centre for three years. • The European Journal of Endocrinology. A free hard copy and online subscription for their journal. • Eli Lilly Ltd. Will supply the Centre with free insulin and growth hormone to support patients who cannot afford their purchase. • Insulin-for-Life (Australia). Collecting unused insulin, pumps and supplies for us. Below is the first report on the PanAfricanTraining Programme in Paediatric Endocrinology that got under way in May 2008.
The programme for Fellowship on Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes in Africa, promoted by the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and sponsored by the World Diabetic Foundation (WDF), finally started in May 2008. Fellows came from Nigeria (Kayode Adeniran, Jerome Elusiyan, Omotayo Adesiyun and Iroro Yarhere), Tanzania (Kandi-Catherine Muze and Edna Majaliwa), and Kenya (Paul Laigong', Mary Limbe). In the first week the role of tutor was shared by Ze'ev Hochberg (from Israel) and Lorenzo Iughetti (from Italy), after which Lorenzo continued until the end of May, to be replaced by Dana Hardin, Violeta Iotova, Marc Maes, Marek Niedziela, Ursula Kuhnle, Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland and Martin Ritzen, who will each spend a month in Nairobi. In a friendly atmosphere, a party was held for the fellows and tutors by Gertrude's Children Hospital, University of Nairobi/Kenyatta National Hospital and Aga Khan University Hospital, and in attendance were Dr Sidney Nesbitt, Prof. Aggrey Wassuna and Prof. William Macharia. Report from PanAfrican Training Programme in Paediatric Endocrinology ESPE activities bringing you the latest news of all the Society’s activities and events ESPE's Training Centre in Africa From the first day the three hospitals granted the programme permission to use their facilities and consult freely with their doctors. In particular the Kenyatta National Hospital diabetes and endocrinology adult clinic is a beehive of activities, and we have here the opportunity to see many children. We were warmly received by Prof. Zipporah Ngumi, the Dean of Faculty, and we thank her for her assistance and suggestions to improve our programme in this setting. The course is 15 months long, with clinic consultations, ward rounds, lectures by tutors, seminars, journal club presentations and a lot of deliberation between the fellows and the tutor. Ze'ev Hochberg opened the activities with some very interesting lectures, coordinating clinics and steering the course. Both Ze'ev and I have been involved in academic activities in Nairobi University and in Aga Khan University and have had an opportunity to give some greatly appreciated public lectures. Seminars and journals were presented daily by fellows from pre-determined topics based on a syllabus developed specifically for the programme. These are always criticised, commented and clarified. The publishers of Hormone Research, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and Paediatric Diabetes kindly support our activities with free access to their online journals, whilst HR and PD also provide journal hard copies. We are very grateful to the publishers for help. The efficient technical organization, managed by Beatrice Mwangi, also permits us to present articles from these journals daily and to keep abreast of developments. We are in the process of developing a website forum to consult African paediatricians on endocrine cases. The sessions are usually very interesting and enlightening. Sometimes real or simulated cases are presented and opinions on management strategies are sought and commented on. Fellows also go through cases on the ESPE website and they are always willing to learn and ask questions. Luckily, everyone speaks English (better than the tutors do), so communication has not been a barrier. The Nigerian fellows even go out of their way to learn Kiswahili so they can fit into the society at large. Interesting cases have been encountered, including some that many of the fellows are not used to or may have just read about in books. Some patients do not understand or speak English, so the East African fellows help to interpret and at the end of the day everybody goes home happy. With the help of the tutors, fellows get in depth knowledge of the clinical features, short- and long-term complications and management strategies in different parts of Europe. Fellows also discuss problems that they have been encountered in their previous practices at home and methods of circumventing or improving on these are suggested for future reference. On Monday 19th May 2008, we all travelled to Embu, a beautiful city north of Nairobi, to see a provincial hospital under the auspices of Dr Thomas Ngwiri. We did a ward round and had a guided tour of the facility. We also discussed with Tom interesting data he collected from clinical cases. Our colleagues at Embu have asked to be consulted via e-mail or telephone whenever there is a patient with endocrine problems. The first month of our interesting experience will be finished soon, but we are sure that the forthcoming months will be even more interesting As the first tutor of this programme I have found the work to be challenging, and many logistical problems have yet to be overcome. I have also had to adapt my knowledge to a different way of life and to different conditions. Furthermore, the fellows have been very eager to obtain knowledge in paediatric endocrinology and diabetology and have continuously asked challenging questions about the management of patients in the clinical setting. So the real clinical cases seen in the different hospitals have been very important to the development of Class activity Group at Embu Hospital our programme. I have also seen an increased capacity for criticism develop within the fellows as time has gone on, which, in my opinion, reflects their development and progress towards best quality practice and an excellent medical approach to paediatric diabetology and endocrinology Even though this period has been very busy, I will hold forever in my mind the friendly and constructive atmosphere created with the fellows, their capacity for work and sacrifice and their desire to improve the health of African children affected by diabetes or endocrine diseases. LORENZO IUGHETTI WITH IRORO YARHERE (NIGERIAN FELLOW) June 2008
Making A Difference
As most of the ESPE members know, Prof. Sten Drop, the former ETC chairman, has initiated an innovative interactive e-learning programme that will focus on problem-solving case discussions on DSD, growth and puberty. This program is being processed now and hopefully will be launched in 2009. In addition, the ETC will also initiate series of e-learning lectures, focusing on (1) diabetes (2) nutrition and growth. These lectures will be on the ESPE's website for the use of any physician and medical team member all over the world free of charge. The lectures will include the most up-to-date information and will represent the front line of the knowledge in paediatric endocrinology. The ETC and the ESPE council hope that this initiative will contribute also to physicians in rural areas who do not have easy access to new information in any other way. ESPE members who are interested in contributing to this activity of e-learning are invited to contact Prof. Moshe Phillip, Chairman of ETC, at email@example.com ESPE patient and parent leaflets Only 25% of the information we give verbally to patients and parents during consultations is retained afterwards and written information is shown to be very helpful in improving understanding. Searching on the internet can often provide inappropriately complex or inaccurate information. It is often not in the family's own language and usually not suitable for children. Therefore the Clinical Practice Committee has set out to produce information for parents and children, taking account of differences in levels of understanding and reading abilities. To provide this and to produce the material in all the different languages of ESPE is a major challenge, but one we are starting to meet. Written information for children needs to be produced according to strict criteria, such as word complexity, sentence and paragraph length and font type and size, to maximise understanding. A research project at the University of Reading UK investigated the value of pictures in adding to understanding. Surprisingly, with well-written and -presented text, they don't add to the information uptake, but just make the reading experience more enjoyable. For many years a set of booklets for parents on common paediatric endocrine conditions has been available, produced by the UK Child Growth Foundation and Dr Richard Stanhope. The new range of ESPE booklets follow the topic sequence, but in two additional reading-age bands - easy readability level, pitched at a reading age of 9 years, suitable for younger children or adults with low legibility, and average readability level, pitched at a reading age of 14 years, suitable for adolescents or older children wanting to know more about their condition, or parents with average reading ability. The illustrations were drawn by Fernando Vera, a Masters student in psychology at Reading University, who also wrote the text of the booklets according to carefully defined readability formulae, and was supported by an educational grant from Merck-Serono. They are available in four languages so far, English, Italian, Spanish and Turkish, and we are grateful to ESPE members Stefano Cianfarani, Juan-Pedro Lopez Siguero, and Feyza Darendeliler for organising the translations. We hope versions in French and German will be available soon, and also want to develop this unique resource into other languages, so feedback and offers of help in translation into other languages of ESPE are very welcome. The leaflets are freely available to download or print out for use in the clinic to help patient understanding and not just for ESPE members. Please spread the word. We hope that this is a useful ESPE resource. See the patient pages on www.eurospe.org/patient for the leaflets, a paper on the methodology and a link to the BSPED leaflet series.