12th World Congress on Mountain Medicine begins today

Published On: November 21, 2018 10:20 AM NPT By: Arpana Ale Magar

KATHMANDU, Nov 21: With the theme of “Mountain Medicine in the Heart of the Himalayas”, 12th World Congress on Mountain Medicine 2018 is set to commence from Wednesday in Kathmandu.

This is the first time the international congress is being held in the South Asian region. More than 200 foreign and 130 Nepali medical professionals, stakeholders, and students will participate in the four-day-long event. 

According to the organizers, the event focuses mainly on science and research aspects of high altitude medicine. 

The flagship event of the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM) is being hosted in Nepal by Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal (MMSN).

“The event will include practical workshops related to trekking, expedition medicine, and clinical education,” said Buddha Basnyat, president of MMSN. 

“Medical students, doctors, mountain rescue teams, scientists, climbers and other people related to mountain medicine from 40 countries including India, the US, the UK, China, Japan, and Italy will participate in the event,” said Santosh Baniya, local organizing committee chair for the event. “The event takes place every two years. So we will be giving continuity to a tradition of 24 years.”

Baniya said the major objective of the event was to share different aspects of mountain medicine, including expedition medicine. According to him, high altitude physiology, mountain emergency medicine, and travel and expedition medicine will be the major issues to be discussed in the conference. 

“People visiting high altitude, including trekkers, pilgrims and yarsa-gumba (caterpillar fungus) collectors, are often in need of medical services,” Baniya said. “Related people should know about the different aspects of mountain medicine. Such kind of conference can contribute a lot in that regard.”

“Our motive is to attract more medical professionals in the mountain medicine sector as we have very few of them in our country,” Baniya added.

He further said that these days more travelers and trekkers are visiting high altitude region. “Mountaineers need to be aware not only of the risks of global epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pneumonia, Zika and Ebola, but also tropical diseases and protective measures for common problems like travelers’ diarrhea and fever. For that reason, the ISMM World Congress 2018 will cover many different critical fields,” he told Republica.

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