Impact of Covid-19 on Medical Congresses
The 9th Midannual conference of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), MIDDERMACON 2021 was held in Mangalore from 28-30th October. The first physical National event organized by any Medical speciality during the Covid pandemic in India.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON MEDICAL CONGRESSES
MID DERMACON 2021- 9TH IADVL MIDANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF DERMATOLOGISTS, VENEREOLOGISTS AND LEPROLOGISTS (IADVL)
Prof Ramesh Bhat
Secretary-General of the Conference
Member of the ILDS Board of Directors
The 9th Midannual conference of Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), MIDDERMACON 2021 was held in Mangalore from 28-30th October. IADVL is one among the large Dermatologists Organization in the world with nearly 10000 members. IADVL is the member organization of International League of Dermatologist Societies (ILDS). As ILDS will organise WCD 2023 in Singapore MIDDERMACON 2021 can be considered as a curtain raiser event for future physical medical conferences. One of the ILDS Directors Prof Ramesha Bhat M Mangalore was involved actively in organising this event. Covid positivity rate on October 28th was India-1.42%, Karnataka -0.42%, Dakshina Kannada(District in which Conference took place) was 0.39%. However neighbouring state of Kerala which is just 16Kms from Mangalore had a high positivity rate of 10.27%
Preliminary special permission was obtained from the district administration to conduct the event under the safe management as per the covid protocol. The organising committee worked hard to make this event possible during this time of uncertainty and turbulent situation. This was also done as a study to evaluate the outcome of Conferencing under safe management for preferably doubly vaccinated delegates during Covid pandemic. Institutional Ethics Committee permission was obtained and study was registered under Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI). The concept paper was also sent to Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR).
This was one among the first physical National event organized by any Medical speciality during the Covid pandemic in India.
Following are the statistical details.
- Delegates ( Physical) – 1118
- Delegates ( Virtual) – 249 ( 56 International)
- Codelegates, Guests, Pharma Delegates- 328
- Faculty- Physical -158, Virtual-20
- Award papers- 96(9 sessions)
- Free papers -121 (physical) 15(Virtual- International) Total 136.
- E posters- 499
- Quiz- 71 teams for Preliminary round & 6 teams for final round.
First day- CME & Workshop on
- Aesthetic Dermatology
All the days scientific program was arranged in 4 halls.
- Prof Somesh Gupta
- Prof Ramam
- Prof Sandeepan Dhar
- Prof Lars French (Virtual)
- Prof Roy Chan (Virtual)
- Prof Claire Fuller (Virtual)
It’s also heartening to note the presence of IADVL Presidents Prof Sacchidanand, Prof C R Srinivas, Prof Deepak Parikh, Prof Yogesh Marfatia, Prof Narasimha Rao along with current EC Presidents – Prof Jayadev Betkerur, Prof Kiran Godse, Prof Rashmi Sarkar and Organizing Committee Chairperson Prof Ganesh Pai, Secretary Prof Ramesh Bhat.
The inauguration of the CME and workshop was held on 28th October with Rev Fr Richard Coelho Director FMCI & Sri Mahabaleshwar Bhat, Managing Director Karnataka Bank as the guests.
Conference Inauguration was held on 28th evening with traditional welcome of guests. Dr Rajendra, District Commissioner and Dr Kishore Kumar District Health officeri were the guests. IADVL President Prof Jaydev Betkerur presided over the function in the presence of EC & Organizing Committee members. ILDS President Prof Lars French and WCD 2023 Chairman Prof Roy Chan virtually gave message during Inaugural function. Prof Sanjeev Vaishampayan & Prof Narendra Kamath were given ILDS appreciation awards on behalf of ILDS & IADVL.
The delegates enjoyed the entertainment and banquet on both the days.
Three prizes were awarded in each category(27 prizes) & appreciation certificate for the best free papers (24) & Posters(9) were given.
SAFE MANAGEMENT OF THE PHYSICAL EVENT
1. Advisory issued to the delegates before the event
Following advisory was issued to all the delegates before the event. In view of the democratic principles these were issued as Advisory instead of Mandatory.
- Doubly vaccinated delegates or One vaccine dose taken delegates who developed covid later and could not complete the second dose. (This was implemented for all the event management, security, Catering personnel and Trade delgates also)
- Not to bring children to the conference venue as they represent unavaccinated vulnerable population.
- Avoid delegates with signs and symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infections(URI)
- All deleagtes were requested to fill a Google form to confirm the vaccination status, previous corona infection, mode and place of travel,
- RTPCR test to be done for delegates from Kerala (Positivity rate 10.27%) and Maharastra (1.45%) according to state guidelines.
2. Management during Conference
- Delegates in 4 halls to avoid overcrowding. Adequate space was given between the chairs.
- Sanitization spray entrance
- Thermal scan
- Spacious Exhibition center with space between stalls with restricted staff of 2 in each stall and only 150 delegates at any given time.
- Voluntary RTPCR testing was arranged free of cost for the delegates on all three days of conference. ( No positive reports)
- Cluster seating arrangements were done in the halls.
- Food was served in an open space.
- Sanitization of the halls were done during lunch intervals.
- N-95 mask wearing for all delegates.
Management after the Conference
- All were asked to fill a google form to highlight whether they developed any Covid symptoms/RTPCR tests.(Only one tested positive)
- RTPCR test was done for consented local delegates and various work personnel.(all were negative)
Our follow up of delegates showed that only one delegate (Not Local) developed positive RTPCR and had mild symptoms of Covid 19 infection.
It’s safe to conduct and participate in Medical conferences in view of the predominant vaccinated delegates under the safe management.
A few highlights
- First Hybrid IADVL Midannual National event.
- MIDDERMACON with highest physical attendance.
- Delegates from 22 countries participated virtually.
- First major Medical Conference of any speciality in India during COVID pandemic.
- Highest number of papers.