Key messages of the 22nd Congress of EHA brought to the Middle East and North Africa
The second edition of the Highlights of Past EHA (HOPE) brought the key messages of the 22nd Congress of EHA to the Cairo, Egypt in September 2017. Many physicians from Middle East and North Africa were not able to come to Madrid in June. HOPE Cairo gave them the opportunity to be updated of the latest innovation in the field and interact with experts. The international faculty were welcomed by over 400 participants from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe for a day and a half meeting.
“I am interested in attending the EHA Congress, it is very beneficial for me but due to travel circumstances, I was unable to attend this year. So, it was a very great chance to attend this meeting in Cairo.” said an attendee from Egypt.
The meeting was chaired by representatives from collaborating partners, including Prof J Gribben from the European Hematology Association, Prof A Kamel and Prof A El-Beshlawy from the Egyptian Society of Hematology and Research, Prof M Mattar from the Pan-Arab Hematology Association and Prof S Al Jaouni from the Saudi Society of Hematology. The collaboration between local and regional hematology organizations was instrumental in making the meeting a success. Representatives from the local societies selected their preferred presentations, thus creating a program tailored to their needs. The program contained plenary lectures with a substantial time allotted for Q&A time, a poster session and a networking reception.
The scholarship program offered by EHA together with ESHR was a new aspect of HOPE this year. Eighty scholarships were handed out, which included complimentary registration to the meeting and one night of accommodation if needed. The scholarships allowed even more young hematologists from Egypt to attend this meeting. As one scholarship winner commented, “Thank you for giving me the chance to attend such a precious conference.”
The social interaction between delegates and experts was a wonderful experience for many. The feedback for this meeting was positive, as can be seen from the comments in the survey:
- “Hope to see you again in Egypt”
- “Looking forwards to attend next meeting”
- “I am interested in attending EHA meeting, it is very beneficial but due travel circumstance I was unable to attend this year it was a very great chance to attend this meeting in Cairo “
- “Great International conference in our country”
- “We were lucky to have the EHA meeting in Cairo. How could I not attend :)”
70.49% of the attendees is active in clinical practice/patient care, 52.46% in clinical research and 49.18% in teaching or a combination of the above.
83.61% indicated that they attended the meeting based on the topics covered in the meeting program. The meeting location was also considered an important factor for 47.54% of the attendees. 90.16% of the attendees’ main objective in attending the meeting was to attend lectures/hear updates.
92,16% strongly agreed that the scientific program was of high quality. The majority of attendees found the program content relevant to their work, challenging and highly stimulating.
The invited faculty was also positive about the meeting. According to Kai Hübel, “It was a great opportunity to get an update for those who could not attend the meeting in Madrid.”
“To present the highlights of the past EHA meeting to such an interested and mostly young audience was very rewarding,” added Michael Pfreundschuh.
It was Federico Caligaris-Cappio’s first HOPE faculty experience. “The Highlights of Past EHA, HOPE Cairo 2017, is my first experience as part of the faculty. I have been very pleasantly surprised by the high number of attendees (I did not imagine in advance that there could be so many participants nor that most could be women) and their interest considering that most were attending the entire meeting and to the very last minute (and carefully taking notes). Some were also asking smart questions. The content of Past EHA (HOPE Cairo 2017) reflected the content of the successful EHA annual meeting in Madrid 2017,” he said.
The meeting was well received as 100% of the respondents would recommend the meeting to a friend or colleague, and 90% would attend the meeting again. The overall rating of the meeting given by the respondents was an 8.1 out of 10.
One of the purposes of this meeting was well-received, with one delegate saying, “We would like to re-do these highlights again in different parts of Cairo to give us chances to attend it if we don't have the opportunity to attend the EHA Congress in 2018.” EHA is currently planning the next installment of HOPE, more information to be shared via the EHA website.