IPWSO Vice-President, François Besnier, attended the ASPAE conference in February 2023.
I was very pleased and motivated to represent IPWSO at the 14th Congress of the African Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology which was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 9-10 February.
The conference gathered together health professionals from African countries from across the continent from North to South Africa. At the IPWSO booth, with the help of Remy Binyet, a parent, I had many interesting discussions and responded to questions about PWS from delegates. Most of the delegates did not know much about PWS, but were very curious and willing to be informed. I distributed IPWSO leaflets and USB sticks containing many useful documents, as well as further guides in French prepared by Prader-Willi France.
I was also invited to present PWS challenges at a round table on Obesity. I insisted on the importance of an early diagnosis, with the possibility of free genetic diagnosis offered by IPWSO, and on the essential need to restrict access to food and to encourage and support daily physical activities. I also highlighted the key role of endocrinologists and paediatricians to support and help families.
From my discussions with professionals, I could see the difficulties they are facing, due to limited resources and cultural problems, but also the essential role of family solidarity.
Obesity is an increasing problem in many African countries and the specificities of PWS are rarely identified. After this Conference, at least the name of Prader-Willi syndrome is known amongst ASPAE delegates.
I had deeper discussions with doctors from Algeria, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Senegal, willing to be informed and open to cooperation. The atmosphere was very warm and informal exchanges were very rich.
The welcome and support during my stay by Professor Susanne Sap Ngo and Dr Adèle Chetcha from Yaoundé, were exceptional and the Prader-Willi family is now enlarged and happy to welcome new members.