The 9th Conference of the Bangladesh Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, BAPMRCON 2016, was held on December 12-15, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh at Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Krishibid Institute. Themed “regain mobility and get momentum of life”, nearly 300 BAPMR members, accompanying persons, local special guests, and international delegates attended this significant event in the history of Bangladesh PMR. By contrast, ten association members and trainees attended the single day program at the first BAPMR conference in 1997!
The comprehensive BAPMRCON 2016 three-day program featured pre-conference workshops; titled lecture sessions; plenary, free paper and poster sessions; a symposium, and; a post-conference workshop and retreat. Among featured program topics were neuro-rehabilitation, musculoskeletal medicine, interventional physiatry, disability assessment, and disaster rehabilitation. Over 100 abstracts were submitted. The 25 member organizing committee was led by BAPMR President Dr. Md.Quamrul Islam. Prof AKM Salek served as the Organizing Chairman, Dr. Md. Shahadat Hossain as Organizing Secretary, and Dr. Monirul Islam was the BAPMRCON 2016 Scientific Chairman.
A colored souvenir was published containing messages from the honorable President of the Peoples republic of Bangladesh Mr. Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Minister Mr. Mohammed Nasim and state Minister Mr. Zahid Maleque with other related Government and Social high officials including Bangladesh Medical Association and Directorate General of Health Services.
Hands-on workshops on the first day were led by foreign resource persons guided by local BAPMR chairs and facilitators. Dr. Nirmal Sirya (India) and Dr. Sakel Mohammad (UK) led the neuro-rehabilitation workshop and Dr. Carl Chen (Taiwan) the MSK-US workshop. The lecture session ‘Challenges of developing medical rehabilitation services’ began Day 2’s program. Lectures on evidence-based practice in PMR, neuro-rehab services and their challenges in developing countries, and considerations in establishing a neuro-rehab service were followed by Prof. Dr. Taslim Uddin’s presentation on the challenges of developing medical rehabilitation services in Bangladesh. Dr. Md. Shaahadat Hossain concluded this informative session with his presentation on the way forward for disability and rehabilitation services in Bangladesh. The morning program continued with plenary sessions on musculoskeletal medicine and neuro-rehabilitation. An early afternoon free paper session was followed by a symposium on the multidisciplinary approach to medical rehabilitation from the Bangladesh and UK perspectives.
The evening inaugural program on the second day was attended by special guests including senior officials of BSMMU, the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA), and the Bangladesh health services and social welfare ministries. Addresses by the special guests were followed by comments from chief guest Mr. Mohammed Nasim MP, Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the concluding address by BAPMR President Prof. Md. Quamrul Islam. A cultural program featuring Bangladeshi popular singers and a raffle followed by a gala dinner was thoroughly enjoyed by BAPMR members and guests.
Day 3 opened with the lecture session ‘PMR practice and research’ featuring presentations from Armed Forces Medical Institute Commandant General F. Rahman on historical perspectives of PMR and by the ISPRM Disaster Rehabilitation Committee representative Dr. Jim Gosney (USA) on the WHO Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Initiative and supporting committee activities. In the Plenary lecture sessions on current concepts and practice in PMR and new PMR diagnostic and interventional procedures were ensued. An early afternoon free paper session was followed by the conference closing session and awards ceremony chaired by Profs. Md. Quamrul Islam and AKM Salek.
A post-conference workshop on Day 4 on invasive spinal intervention in the management of lower back pain led by Dr. Ashesh Roy Chowdhury (India) concluded the robust BAPMRCON 2016 scientific program.
By Prof. Dr. Taslim Uddin, BSM Medical University, Dhaka, Official ISPRM Representative, Vice-President Bangladesh Association of PMR