This past May, Binaytara Foundation (BTF) organized its Advances in Medicine conference in Nepal. The conference brought together BTF faculty and experts from the United States with counterparts practicing in Nepal. Pioneering developments in the fields of hematology and oncology, new evidence-based practice guidelines, and the latest updates in cancer treatment were discussed through seminars, lectures, and educational forums.
The first conference was held at BP Koirala Memorial Cancer Center (BPKMCH) in Bharatpur, Nepal on May 13, 2011. Despite political turmoil that led to a nationwide labor strike, more than fifty physicians from different parts of the country participated in the conference. Eminent speakers at the conference included clinicians and scientists leading and participating in cutting edge cancer research in the United States. Dr. Damiano Rondelli, BTF Scientific Committee Chairman and Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medical Center gave one presentation entitled Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Myelodysplastic Syndrome, and Myeloproliferative Disorders and a second entitled The Role of Bone Marrow Transplantation. Dr. Binay Shah, Consultant Hematologist and Medical Oncologist at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Lewiston, Idaho gave a presentation on Approach to Lung Cancer: Individualizing Treatment in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and a second, Lymphoma: What is New? These talks were followed by question and answer sessions focusing on practical aspects of evidence-based patient management.
Attendees of the conference emphasized the need to advance medical practice in Nepal. They noted that the relative lack of resources and access to information prevented the optimal practice of evidence-based medicine. To their credit, veteran and new physicians in that country practice experience—based medicine to the best of their ability. Attendees requested more such conferences so that physicians around the world can stay informed of evidence-based standard of care, and be of greater service to their fellow man. During a press conference with local journalists, Dr. Laxmi Narayan Singh, executive director of BPKMCH, and Dr. Anjani Kumar Jha, Chief of the Department of Radiation Oncology at BPKMCH both requested Binaytara Foundation to initiate a telemedicine program with BPKMCH physicians.
Binaytara Foundation organized its second conference at Pokhara Grande Hotel on May 16th, 2011 in Pokhara, Nepal. Approximately one-hundred local practicing physicians and resident physicians participated in the conference. Both Drs. Rondelli and Shah presented the aforementioned seminars, and answered questions after their presentations.
Drs. Shah and Rondelli also saw patients in the free health camp at Kaski Sewa Hospital and Research Center. Drs. Umid Shrestha and Hemant Manandhar of Kaski Sewa Hospital informed the BTF team that the patients were very appreciative of BTF’s efforts to improve health care in Nepal. Drs. Rondelli and Shah also attended a dinner program organized by the Internal Medicine Residents of Manipal medical college. These residents had been familiar with the BTF team since they have been participants in BTF’s weekly international telemedicine conferences.
BTF thanks everyone involved in making the conferences successful. Special mention is made of Dr. Ramesh KC, who volunteered his time at the conferences.