Anchor Hung, Vice President South East Asia and Ex-officio Member of the Regional Executive Committee South East Asia, travelled to Bangalore in October 2006 to the annual Indian national epilepsy conference.
Dr HV Srinivas and Anchor Hung report
The 7th Annual Conference of the Indian Epilepsy Association (IBE Full Member) and the Indian Epilepsy Society (ILAE Chapter) took place in Bangalore in October. Bangalore has a rich history and was once known as the Garden City. Today with the presence of high tech companies in the city, that name has changed to Silicon City of India.
The venue of the conference was the state of the art convention centre at the prestigious and world renowned National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
The meeting was held over two days; the first day focussed on topics of medical interest while on the second day non-medical/social topics were addressed. It was encouraging to see that many medical doctors also participated on the second day of the conference.
On the first day, after a brief inauguration of the Scientific Session by Dr VS Saxena, President of the Indian Epilepsy Society, an Award Session was conducted to select the best papers, both in medical and non medical categories. Following this, there was a Presidential Oration by Dr PK Sethi and guest lectures by Dr J Duncan and Dr S Shorvon from the UK, and by Dr Bharucha and Dr Meena Gupta from India.
Later in the day a Poster Session consisting of 24 medical and 3 non-medical papers and a parallel platform presentations with 9 medical and 3 non-medical presentations was held. The day was wound up with a symposium on Epilepsy in Children. In the evening, a formal inauguration followed by Cultural Programme and Conference Dinner was held.
On the second day, which is mainly for lay persons with epilepsy and their carers, a symposium on Prevention of Epilepsy was held, with a view to informing lay people that there are some types of epilepsy that are preventable head injury, stroke and neuro infections. The current status of epilepsy and law was highlighted by guest lecturer Mr SV Joga Rao, an eminent legal consultant from Bangalore.
The highlight of the second day was the HC Bajoria Award, which is specifically awarded to persons working in the field of social aspects of epilepsy. This year the recipient was Dr GM Taori one of the founder members of the Indian Epilepsy Association and Chief Neurologist & Director, CIIMS, Nagpur. His talk was titled Society and Epilepsy emphasizing the societal attitude, due to ignorance and prejudice, to a condition which is eminently treatable today. Previous recipients of the award were Dr HV Srinivas, Dr (Mrs) VV Nadkarni and Dr PU Shah. The KS Mani Memorial Session is named after the late Dr KS Mani, who has been the pioneer in the epilepsy movement in India. The session is for persons with epilepsy and their carers, who are invited to speak about their personal experiences. This session also included mime show by the Kalagangotri troupe with the theme Epilepsy & Marriage.
The conference ended with an interesting symposium on social aspects of epilepsy where the platform was shared by Ms Anchor Hung, IBE Vice President, South East Asia Region, and Mrs Rohini Nilekani of Akshara Foundation, Bangalore, who discussed the various aspects of public education that is required to dispel the myths and fears about epilepsy.