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Report of the 2nd Congress of the Maghreb Regional Working Group of Military Medicine

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Under the High patronage of His Majesty
the King Mohammed VI, Supreme Chief
and the Chief of the Moroccan Armed
Forces Headquarters

2nd Congress of the Maghreb Regional
Working Group of Military Medicine
Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco
From 16 to 19 February, 2011

Report

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Report of the 2nd Congress of the Maghreb Regional on Military Medicine

Place: Hotel Sofitel Jardin des Roses, in Rabat, Morocco.
Dates: February 16 through 19, 2011.
ICMM Delegation: Dr Jacques SANABRIA (Secretary-General of the ICMM), Maj. Gen. (MD, Prof.) Marcel MERLIN (Chairman of the ICMM Scientific Council) and Maj. Gen. (MD, Prof.) Marc MORILLON (Deputy Chairman of the ICMM Scientific Council).
Congress Chairman: Brig. Gen. Ali ABROUQ (MD), Health Inspector of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces.

Program

a) Scientific sessions, February 17 - 18:
The congress was attended by about 500 participants.
There were 15 conferences, 38 presentations and 55 poster displays, along with a film showing an exercise in managing the source of a flu pandemic.
Four sessions took place in the main hall (with simultaneous translation into English, French and Arabic) and two sessions took place in an adjoining conference room. Congress debates were sent by live video link to the three military hospitals in Rabat, Marrakech and Meknès.
The poster displays were exhibited over the two days of the congress, with a presentation on the Thursday afternoon.

b) Cultural Activities, February 19:
Delegations enjoyed a sightseeing and cultural excursion, with visits to historic monuments: The Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, the Hassan II Mosque and a dinner at the Club Nautique of the Royal Navy in Casablanca.

Participants

Members of the Maghreb Regional Working Group (RWG): Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
Members of the ICMM outside the Maghreb RWG: Bahrain, China, Congo Brazzaville, France, Gabon, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, United Arab Emirates and United States.

Scientific Activities

a) Scientific themes
Main Theme: "Emerging and re-emerging diseases", with 6 sub-topics:
- Maladies émergentes et armées;
- Facteurs d'émergence.
- Les maladies émergentes respiratoires.
- Les maladies émergentes non infectieuses.
- Surveillance des maladies émergentes en milieu militaire.
- Stratégies et organisation de la lutte.

b) Conférences
- Maladies émergentes et armées. Marc MORILLON (CIMM)
- Les facteurs d'émergence des zoonoses au Maroc. M. M. Fassi FEHRI (Maroc)
- Les maladies émergentes liées à la mondialisation. F. SIMON (Maroc)
- Epidémiologie des maladies respiratoires émergentes. J. L. KOECK (France)
- Plan régional EMRO de lutte contre les maladies émergentes : leçons apprises à l'issue de la grippe pandémique A(H1N1)v. J. MAHJOUR (EMRO/OMS/ Égypte).
- Lessons learned from the H1N1 flu epidemic and response in UTAH. D. N. SUNDWALL (USA)
- La mise en place d'un système de veille sanitaire dans les armées. X. DEPARIS (France)
- Vaccins et maladies émergentes. J. L. KOECK (France)
- Medical emergency preparedness to disasters: The need for collaboration between the military and public health. D. J. WOOD (USA)
- Le modèle de la prise en charge d'une épidémie: de la théorie à la pratique. X. DEPARIS (France)
- L'épidémiosurveillance des maladies animales émergentes au Maroc. M. EL HARRAK (Maroc)
- KSA Experience in handeling H1N1 during Hajj season. Z. MEMISH (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
- Le service de santé des Armées tunisien et la coopération civilo-militaire : lutte et riposte aux maladies émergentes et ré-émergentes. F. BAYOUDH (Tunisie)
- Profil épidémiologique et stratégies de lutte contre les maladies émergentes au Maroc. O. EL MENZHI (Maroc)
- Global emerging infections system. M. MANSOUR (USA).

Regional Assembly

The 2nd Regional Assembly of the Maghreb Regional Working Group of Military Medicine was held at the same time as the Congress, chaired by Brig. Gen. Ali ABROUQ (MD), Health Inspector of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces and Chairman of the Regional Working Group. In addition to members of the International Committee of Military Medicine and the 5 delegates from the Maghreb RWG, the Assembly was attended by the Chairman of the Pan Arab Regional Working Group as observers invited by the Chairman of the RWG.

There was agreement among those attending that the Maghreb RWG should continue to function in a simple and flexible way. Their aim is to ensure that the group can adapt quickly to regional priorities and organize regional courses for officers of the Armed Forces Health Services. This means that there will not be a central fixed administrative structure in any particular country in the RWG. The Chairman in office of the RWG will manage a small team (to be selected by him) and will ensure that contact will be made on a regular basis with the national delegates of the other members of the RWG. To do this, each delegate will appoint a Liaison Officer in his team.

Mauritania could organize the next Maghreb Regional Congress on Military Medicine, to be confirmed when Mauritanian authorities have given their decision.

Conclusion

The second Maghreb ICMM Regional Congress took place in a magnificent venue. The material organization of the congress, the simultaneous translation of the different scientific events, the social events and official dinners, security, the general atmosphere of willingness to share information and discuss experience, not to mention the hospitality of the host country were all outstanding in every way. The scientific presentations were of good quality and some of these will be published as articles in the International Review of the Armed Forces Medical Services, the official scientific journal of the ICMM.
With 6 ICMM Regional Congresses held over the past 10 months, the success of this event confirms the growing importance of the role of the RWG in developing scientific and technical activities within the ICMM.