With the oath to “Combat Gender Violence by Psychiatric Service”, 7th International Conference on Psychiatry was held in Dhaka recently. Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists (BAP) in collaboration with World Psychiatric Association, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations and SAARC Psychiatric Federation organized the conference.
In his inaugural speech as chief guest, Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman said “only training to the healthcare providers and raising awareness about gender based violence will not be enough. Rather, entire health system needs to respond, with linkages to legal and social services. The gender violence is a social problem and as a social scientist, a psychiatrist should extend his services to prevent the problem and mitigate the pain of the victims”, he added.
A good number of local and foreign mental health professionals participated in the conference. Among the foreign delegates, the current President of Indian Psychiatric Society Prof. Indira Sharma, the Professor Emeritus Naotaka Shinfuku of Kobe University Japan, Secretary General of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Prof. Murali Thuloth and Zonal Representative of World Psychiatric Association Prof. M. Thirunavukarasu presented their valuable papers in the plenary and theme related sessions. Prof. Thirunavukarasu dealt on how the mental health professionals can be able to prevent the addictive behaviors like alcohol consumption and other drug abuse. Prof. Shinfuku emphasized the regional collaboration for development of better mental health service in Asia. He also delivered another scientific paper on postdisaster psychosocial problem and its management. Prof. Indira Sharma said how to cope with domestic violence and the psychiatric management thereof in the Asian perspective. The scientific sessions were segmented into several different sessions like plenary, theme related, child psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, early career psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, clinical debate, and free paper sessions. Total forty five scientific papers were presented in the Conference.
In the 7th International Conference on Psychiatry, ‘Prof. Hidayetul Islam Gold Medal’ award was declared for the first time in Bangladesh based on original research, commitment to the psychiatry and the overall achievement in psychiatry. Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed, MD, was awarded with ‘Prof. Hidayetul Islam Gold Medal’ in the closing ceremony of the conference.
In this Conference, a fellowship award was also given to Dr. Samir Kumar Praharaj, a psychiatrist of India who is currently working as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India. The Conference ended up with a cultural programme in the evening.
The organizing committee of this Conference expressed their gratitude to the sponsors for their wholehearted support to make it successful. Among the sponsors, the organizing committee specially thanked General Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Opsonin Pharma Ltd., Sun Pharma Ltd., Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Novartis (BD) Ltd. (Sandoz division), Sanofi Aventis Ltd., Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd., UniMed Pharma Ltd., The ACME Laboratories Ltd., Novartis (BD) Ltd., Beacon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd., and Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Bangladesh.