ESCMID Course on Mycobacteria
The European Society of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) regularly organizes educational courses, the vast majority of which are held in Europe. This year, however, their postgraduate course on tuberculosis and mycobacterial disease was held in Singapore from 26th to 28th September, in NUS.
Although other specialties (particularly the oncologists) have organized regional editions of US and European conferences/courses in Singapore, I believe this is the first ESCMID course that is held here. I understand this feat was largely the work of Dr Catherine Ong from NUS in conjunction with Prof Jon Friedland from Imperial College, UK.
The majority of the faculty were from Singapore and the region, which is reflective of both the burden of the disease in the region (as opposed to Europe) and the depth of expertise here with regards to tuberculosis.
The programme was interesting, albeit weighed heavily towards the clinical aspect of tuberculosis. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend for a single day, but was nonetheless deeply impressed by several of the lectures, particularly the one on tuberculous meningitis by Prof Guy Thwaites, director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Vietnam. He is from UK, but has worked in the region for decades. Many of us who are old enough may recall using his landmark studies on adjunctive dexamethasone for TB meningitis.