The 7th biennial Southern African Spinal Cord Congress boasted an attendance of over 286 delegates - a record number and over a 100% increase over previous years.
The Congress took place in Durban from the 31 August to 2 September under the auspices of the Southern African Spinal Cord Association (SASCA).
The theme of the Congress was “Bridging the Gap” between theory and practice, have’s and have not’s, and hospital and community.
In defining the theme Rob Campbell, an executive member of SASCA said, “SCI care is about connecting teams to return patients to their often shattered families. It’s about integrating them into their communities and sometimes (perhaps too seldom) their jobs. It’s about reaching the needs of human beings through clinical excellence, true humanity and holistic management practice. “
“Excellent SCI care is not an accident – it requires a solid knowledge base, excellent clinical skills, human sciences and an eye for judicious utilisation.”
With this in mind the SASCA invited several well-known local speakers as well as two international speakers; Dr Fin Biering Sorensen, the head of the spinal injuries unit at Rogshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Dr Susan Charlifue, research supervisor and social workers at Craig Hospital, Denver, Colorado, USA. Unfortunately, due to illness, Dr Sorensen could not attend but his presentations were forwarded and delivered at the Congress by Rob Campbell and Ed Baalbergen.