Welcome address

We welcome you to join the 12th Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, to be held in Athens from April 11-15, 2018 at the Mitera Hospital, Athens, Greece, together with the 3rd Euro-Asian Symposium on Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.

As in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 the humanitarian Association “Hearts for All” and Kalangos Foundation is organizing the Global Forum in partnership with Mitera Hospital, World Heart Federation and the support of the WHO.

The Congress is being organized with the aim to continue to address key issues facing numerous developing countries including the shortage of financial, material and human resources, which are often aggravated by adverse economic conditions and loss of trained personnel towards richer countries, as well as, problems due to shortage o] technology and lack of education.

Discussions regarding quality improvement for congenital heart surgery in developing countries in relation to the collaborative database and the Global Heart Network Platform was key issues discussed during the 2015 GF meeting.

Numerous governmental and non-governmental agencies have provided excellent humanitarian medical assistance for a large number of populations in need. Nevertheless, to present, this assistance has been “reactive” and was mainly offered as an answer to natural disasters and wars. These programmed have been certainly useful, but have only been of a punctual, time-limited nature and therefore have not resulted in long capacity-building projects.

The Forum was started in 2003 in Geneva, Switzerland with the objective of becoming an international decision-taking forum to improve cooperation and assistance to the Third World in the capacity building of their health sector, and meet future and emerging challenges, with special reference to cardiovascular diseases. At the 3rd Global Forum in 2007 a Children’s International Database executive committee was formed to establish an international quality improvement collaborative for congenital heart surgery in developing countries. The 4th Global Forum was held as a regional meeting in the Dominican Republic in December 2008. The 5th Global Forum was held in Geneva, Switzerland and focused on the importance of the team in developing sustainable programs. The 6th Global Forum is to be held in Chennai, India, in November 2010, with special focus on the Asian continent. The 7th Global Forum (Geneva, 2011) focused on the importance of teamwork and research in building sustainable programs. The 8th Global Forum was scheduled to be held in Morocco, 2012, but was unfortunately cancelled to financial and local organization difficulties. The 9th GF held in Geneva 2013 focused on the Global Heart Network Platform and the Database. The 10th GF was planned to be held in Memphis, TN, USA but was cancelled with short notice.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading non-communicable diseases in industrialized countries and a rapidly growing disease in the developing countries. With the Global Forum we wish to open a dialogue among different international partners to gather bearer knowledge concerning the needs of poorer populations; and target available economic, technical and human resources, in order to consolidate and coordinate these efforts in the most cost-effective and best sustainable manner.

We believe that time has come to reflect on the past failures and achievements with the challenge to create a strong partnership among all of us and to build a successful collaboration for the future. For this reason, international specialists in the area of humanitarian and cardiovascular medicine have been invited, as well as, representatives from international non- governmental organizations working in the area in order to further share their ideas and experience.

By coming together, we are sure to find the best solutions for bearer health and quality of life to the poorer populations of the world.

The 11th Global Forum in Geneva focused on plenary and panel discussions with the active participation from the audience regarding a vast of issues related to LMC countries.

The Organizing Committee wish to give you a warm welcome to Athens and look forward to see you in April 2018 and look forward to an intensive and fruitful discussion during the conference. This year the GF will focus on neonatal cardiology and cardiac surgery as well as nutrition.

 

Prof. Afksendiyos Kalangos

President Global Forum

   Dr Jan T. Christenson

  Secretary General Global Forum