A Narrative of the First World Day of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine - ESRA

ESRA Updates

May 2024 | Issue 15

A Narrative of the First World Day of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine

Penafrancia Cano (University of the Philippines College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital) @Cano_Pen

During the first week of November 2023,  I was elated  to receive a personal  email from the ESRA President, Dr Eleni Moka, giving me a background  about the First World Day of Regional Anaesthesia (RA) and Pain Medicine which was to be held on January 27, 2024 with the inspiring theme “Joining Hands for a Pain Free Future Worldwide”. It was a conference that was to occur simultaneously amongst all regional anaesthesia societies and organizations around the world with the cooperation of the sister societies of ESRA . As the Philippine representative of the ESRA International Committee, Dr Moka encouraged me to embrace the idea in putting up the RA conference in Manila.

I consulted my colleagues of our organization, the Manila Academy of Regional Anaesthesia (MARA, where most pioneer fellowship programs have started), regarding the proposal. Initially, we had second thoughts about the idea because of the short period of time that will be allotted to set up and prepare for the conference. Secondly, because it was going to be a face to face event, we needed the help of the industry partners to help defray the cost for the meals of the attendees, the audio visuals that will be used and other expenses. With a little more than two months left to send the invites, we might not receive the support that we needed. More so, we might not be able to attract a lot of registrants. With further deliberation, the MARA officers decided that we will fully support the project that was initiated by ESRA under the leadership of Dr Moka and Dr Bloc, the head of the organizing committee of the First World Day of RA. Our aim of being a part of the activity was to join hands, share knowledge and work together with all RA societies and organizations to show to our anaesthesia colleagues not only in the Philippines but all over the world that we were one in our aspiration to offer relief and transform the lives of those patients who are afflicted with pain.

Poster of the World Day of RAPM taking place in Makati Medical Center, Philippine

Surprisingly, we were able to surpass all the stumbling blocks. First, we found a venue for the event, at the Makati Medical Center, a prestigious JCI accredited tertiary hospital which is part of a group of hospitals under MARA. We extend our deepest gratitude to the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Dr Amelia Reyles, who warmly welcomed our proposal for them to host the event. Special mention to Dr Noel Aypa, the head of the RA fellowship program and Dr Aileen Rosales, the RA fellow for facilitating all the legwork. We were also thankful to the drug companies who supported and helped us even with short notice. But the biggest surprise was the huge turn out of attendees  from different parts of the Philippines who came to register and joined us in the celebration of the First World Day of RA and Pain Medicine. We initially feared that we will be able to fill up only half of the conference hall which can accommodate up to 80 attendees but the support was astounding we could not believe that  we were able to record more than 90 registrants which exceeded the maximum capacity! During the entire duration of the event, we felt the overwhelming enthusiasm and eagerness of the participants to learn and adopt RA in their practice.

The most notable attendee was Dr Nazeer Ahmed, the head of RA at the Hammad Medical Corporation in Qatar who voluntarily travelled to Manila to join us, as a speaker and workshop facilitator which boosted further the local faculty line up and helped keep the spirits high.

Three months had passed but until now, we cannot forget the successful turnout of the conference and the feeling of accomplishment of the officers of MARA knowing that we were able to impart to our attendees the positive impact of RA in improving the quality of life of our patients. I am very thankful to Dr Eleni Moka, the President of ESRA for her guidance and inspiration from the time of conceptualization up to the day of the event.

The success of the First World Day of RA and Pain Medicine around the world was a celebration of the collective power and commitment of all RA societies to create a world where effective pain management is the universal goal. The journey ahead may be challenging but with unity, hard work and determination, together we can turn our dream into a reality of ensuring a pain free future for everyone!

Topics: Education , World Day , Global event

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