Advocating for Hope: IPWSO’s Impact at 2024 African Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ASPAE) Conference 

In the realm of rare diseases, every opportunity to connect, advocate, and educate is invaluable. This rings particularly true in relation to IPWSO’s recent attendance at the 2024 ASPAE meeting in Algiers, following IPWSO attendance in ASPAE Yaounde conference in 2023.

IPWSO’s presence at the conference was a testament to the commitment of the volunteers who travelled on our behalf, our Vice-President, François Besnier; Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board member, Maithé Tauber; and Marie-Odile Besnier. With over 550 medical professionals in attendance, the stage was set for impactful engagement and advocacy.

On the first photo on the right:  Pictured from left to right, Dr Fomenky, Dr Phoebe Warmalwa, Dr Hiwot, François Besnier, Dr Elizabeth Oyenusi, Dr Mbona Rita, Marie-Odile Besnier, Pr Maithé Tauber.

One of the sessions of the conference was devoted to obesity, co-chaired by Prof. Maithé Tauber. Among the presentations were crucial insights into PWS, including management strategies and clinical follow-ups, shedding light on the complexities of the syndrome and the need for tailored approaches to care.

Our mission at IPWSO is to support people with PWS and their families all over the world to live their best life and reach their potential. As part of their visit to Algiers our volunteers had arranged with Prof. Asmahane Ladjouze and Dr. Yasmina Ouarezki, a separate meeting for families of people with PWS. This gathering brought together 30 families and their children from across Algeria, alongside 40 healthcare professionals, creating a space for shared experiences, support, and invaluable networking.

François Besnier, in his reflections, spoke of the profound impact of IPWSO’s initiatives, citing the overwhelming response from individuals in Algeria eager to remain connected with IPWSO. Furthermore, the significance of IPWSO’s free diagnostic testing service was highlighted, emphasising the crucial role of early detection and intervention in improving outcomes for individuals with PWS. François spoke too of the warm welcome the IPWSO team received from the ASPAE organisers and his gratitude for their support.

In line with our commitment to accessibility and equality we provided travel scholarships to five Paediatric Endocrinologists from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Kenya. In the coming months, more information on their findings and impact will be shared. Each year, we raise funds so that we can help professionals attend this vital event. As well as funding the free diagnostic testing service that was so eagerly welcomed at this conference, money raised by our supporters and volunteers helps expand our pool of knowledge and strengthens collaborations and expertise in regions where support for rare diseases is limited.

We thank our volunteers for representing IPWSO, for sharing their expertise and for helping our international community.

If you’d like to read about last year’s impact at ASPAE 2023, see here.

Two women smiling, wearing white dresses.
Family smiling at camera.
Family smiling at camera.