1st IFCC, EFLM, AFCB Conference





The Mediterranean Sea connects countries with different traditions, lifestyles and religions, but all have been shaped by this extraordinary basin which produced the oldest civilizations.

Today, unfortunately, the Mediterranean countries also share wars, terrorism, poverty and large-scale migration. This conference will highlight the value of Laboratory Medicine for a greater effectiveness and safety with the potential to impact numerous health system outcomes at national and regional level and to improve security in the Middle East region with on-site opportunities for diagnosis and care to help victims of war and social-political instability as well ascare of refugees. It will open a new dialogue for scientific solutions to improve healthcare delivery under these extraordinary circumstances as well as to demonstrate the capacity of the Lab Medicine network of excellence to combine different expertise in a single joint action to become the added value.

At the healthcare level, South Euro Mediterranean countries are faced with a double burden. They must maintain policies to fight against traditional diseases, which rely mainly on vaccination policy, while having to face new diseases characteristic from developed countries (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, HIV, hepatitis, obesity, etc.). In addition to the epidemiological transition, other transitions are adding up(demographic,organizational and democratic).

Financial resources remain limited and the post-Arab spring context gave rise to an increasing demand of populations for a better access to health care, for all and at the lowest cost. Such is the complex health context facing South Euro Mediterranean countries. On the other hand, in the Middle East and North Africa region, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (up by 44%), stroke (up 35%), metabolic diseases and diabetes (up 87%), obesity, maternal mortality are causing more premature death and disability than they did in the past. Potentially preventable risk factors such as poor diets, high blood pressure, high body mass index (an indicator of obesity and overweight), and smoking are contributing to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases in the region. Tuberculosis is still endemic and some transmissible diseases (HIV) may reoccur.

In the last few months, the world has been vividly reminded by the Ebola epidemic and by the resurgence of polio and of MERS Coronavirus that health problems do not stop at borders. In the alarming context of risk of Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission in the Euro-Mediterranean area, there is a need to examine whether capacities to detect, diagnose and notify ZIKV infections in the region are in place and whether ongoing capacity-building initiatives are filling existing gaps. Moreover collaborating with Mediterranean countries is important, through the networks of pharmacovigilance, to be aware on the antimicrobial resistance by extending the surveillance and laboratory experience, while reviewing and strengthening shared vaccination strategies.

Countries in Europe and the Mediterranean face several common health challenges, including, to different extents, the double burden of diet- and physical inactivityrelated chronic diseasesand of nutritional deficiency disorders Migration and health is another common challenge where EU and non-EU countries in the Mediterranean are faced with large unexpected flows of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers many of whom have particular health needs. This constitutes a third and serious burden that we cannot underestimate and that should be addressed jointly,by mobilizing needed resources within a shared framework. Deteriorating health and unnecessary deaths and suffering also due to the current turmoil in several areas in the region are indeed our main common enemies and we need to devise shared strategies to combat them and overcome the risk they impose on our societies. Finally, there is a need for more stringent relationships between Mediterranean Countries to realize advancements in education and curriculum of Laboratory’s professionals.

Registration details will be available soon.

Monday July 2nd

17:30 - 19:00

Round table: “The Role of Laboratory Medicine to Address Migrant Health Issues”.

Discussants: Howard Morris (Australia) and Mario Plebani (Italy)

Participants: Italian Foreign Ministry Representative for International Cooperation, Representatives from Italian Military Health Services, Representatives from Embassies of Mediterranean Countries in Rome, Michael Neumaier (EFLM President elect), Osama Najjar (AFCB President), Adenuke Bashinu Okesina (Past President of the AFCC), Guénaël Rodier (Director of the Department of Global Capacities, Alert & Response within the Outbreaks and Health Emergencies Cluster at the World Health Organization), John F. Ryan (Acting-Director of the Commission Public Health Directorate, Head of Unit responsible for Health Threats, Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Bioterrorism within the European Commission Department for Public Health and Consumer Protection), Christian Haddad (Lebanon).

Tuesday July 3rd

Session n. 1: Improving Efficiency inLaboratory Medicine

Chair: Badre Eddine Lmimouni (Maroc)
Co-Chair: Evgenija Homšak( Slovenia)

8.30 - 11.00
• Evidence - Based Laboratory Medicine (Mario Plebani, Italy)
• Inter-laboratory comparisons and EQA in the Mediterranean area (Alexander Haliassos, Greece)
• Accreditation in developing countries: how developed countries can assist? (Michael Vaubourolle/Hélène Mehay, France)
• Policies for standardization of clinical laboratory management in the Mediterranean Countries: Differences
from EU member countries (Sedef Yenice,Turkey)
• Which skills and how should they be gained by laboratory medicine professionals for successful ISO 15189
accreditation? (Diler Aslan, Turkey)
• Where is Medical Laboratory Diagnosis in Palestine in terms of accreditation and molecular diagnosis (Osama Najjar, Palestine)
• Global Challenges of the IFCC Foundation For Emerging Nations (FEN): (Graham Beastall, UK)

11.00 - 11:30 coffee break

Session n. 2: Transmissible Diseases in the Mediterranean Area Chair: Sania Stankovic (Serbia)
Co-Chair: Anyla Bulo (Albania)

11.30 - 13.30
• Immigration and Transmissible Diseases (Ghassan Shannan, Syria)

• Are medical laboratories ready for diagnosis of parasitic diseases? (Ahmet Özbilgin,Turkey)
• Vaccination policy for refugees in the Mediterranean countries; which diseases require priority? Are there screening programs for these diseases? (Selim Badur, Turkey)
• Management of pandemics (ZIKA, SRAS, H5N1, EBOLA, Cholera, E Coli hemorrhagic, Stefano Bonassi, Italy)
• Pharmacogenomics: Pharmacogenomics and Therapy for Hepatitis C Virus infection (Mohamed Shaarawy, Egypt)

13.30 - 14.00 Lunch

Session n. 3: Perinatal and Pregnancy Laboratory Medicine
Chair: Rania Abu Seir (Palestine)
Co-Chair: Imessaoudene Belaid (Algeria)

• State of the Art for Prenatal Screening (Demetrios Rizos, Greece)
• NGS for Metabolic Disease Diagnosis (Rafael Artuch, Spain)
• The role of Laboratory Medicine for Health during Pregnancy (Adnan Alkhatib, Syria)

Session n. 4: Lab Med Training and Education
Chair: Spyroula Christou (Cyprus);
Co-Chair: Jozo Coric (Bosnia Herzegovina)

15.00 - 16.30
• Training of Laboratory Medicine; South Mediterranean ( Layachi Chabroui, Maroc)
• Training of laboratory Medicine; North Mediterranean (Alexander Haliassos, Greece)
• IFCC Curriculum and e-Academy (Janet Smith, UK)
• Exchanging practice in Laboratory Medicine: Presentation of the EFLM project “EFLMLabX” (Evgenija Homšak, Slovenia)

Session n. 5: Mediterranean Diet and Area’s specific Diseases
Chair: Marielle Kaplan (Israel)
Co Chair Philippe Gillery (France)

16.30 - 19.00
• Surrogate Biomarkers for monitoring Healthcare quality for chronic diseases such as diabetes care (Diler Aslan, Turkey)
• Diet and life style influences on telomere length as a potential biomarker for various diseases (Jelena Kotur Stevuljevic, Serbia)
• Are uremia, diabetes, and atherosclerosis linked with impaired antioxidant mechanisms? Effects of antioxidant rich Mediterranean Diet (Tomris Ozben, Turkey)
• Update on Cardiac Biomarkers (Martina Zaninotto, Italy)
• Vitamin D and Health Outcomes (Howard Morris, AU)
• HbA2 Assay Standardization (Andrea Mosca, Italy)
• Epidemiological and molecular profile of Beta thalassemia in Tunisia (Taieb Messaoud ,Tunisia)

19.00 - 20.00
Round Table: “Benchmarking the organization of Medical Biology in Euro-Mediterranean Countries”
Discussants: Bernard Gouget (France), Mohamed Shaarawy (Egypt), Rania Abusier (Palestine), Bderrazek Hedhili (Tunisia), Rosa Sierra Amor (Mexico).

20.30 Dinner

Wednesday July 4th

Session n. 6: Laboratory Medicine Sustainability around Mediterranean Sea (YS session)
Chair: Praadep Kumar Dabla (India)
Co-Chair: Najdana Gligorovic-Barhanovic (Montenegro)

09.00 - 10.30
• Laboratory Medicine with reduced resources around the Mediterranean Sea (Dr. Miljan Savkovic, Serbia)
• Inter-laboratory exchange of knowledge and technology around our Sea-Lab Surfing Project (Dr. Guilaine Boursier, France)
• The mentor – mentee relationship (Josep Miquel Bauça, Spain)
• Research as a career, a Perspective for Young Scientists (Praadep Kumar Dabla, India)

Session n. 7: Improving Health with Emerging Technologies
Chair: Lora Dukic (Croatia)
Co-Chair: Fethy Ben Hassine (Tunisia)

10.30 - 13.00
• Economy evaluation as a tool in Emerging Technology assessment (Natasa Bagavac-Stanojevic, Serbia)
• E- technologies opportunities (Bernard Gouget, France)
• The appropriate use of POCT (Ann Gronowski, US)
• Advancement in POCT molecular testing: the multiplex PCR POCT Devices for infectious diseases (Alpaslan Alp, Turkey)
• New Solutions for the sample transport and results delivery: a digital Lab. (Damien Gruson, Belgium)
• NGS-from research to everyday practice (Maurizio Ferrari, IT)
• miRNA and other non-coding RNA profiling as a promising diagnostic approach (Christos Tsatsanis, Greece)

13:00 - 13.30
Perspectives: “There will be a Second Edition of Lab Med Mediterranean Conference: WWW? (Why, Where, When)” (Howards Morris, AU)

13.30 - 14.30 Lunch

1st IFCC, EFLM, AFCB Conference will be held at the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, Italy.

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