First ISPAD/ASPED/Lilly Diabetes Postgraduate Course, 11th-13th June, 2015, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The first ISPAD/ASPED/Lilly Diabetes postgraduate course was an initiative by the Arab Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (ASPED) in collaboration with ISPAD and was exclusively sponsored by Lilly.

It was held in Abu Dhabi and run by an expert group of faculty; 4 from ISPAD, 5 from ASPED and 9 mentors from 9 different countries over 3 days.

Candidates were selected following open competitive applications which was advertised by both ASPED and ISPAD. Strict enrollment criteria were agreed on by the ASPED/ISPAD course committee.

65 candidates (out of 135 applicants) from 13 countries were enrolled and attended the course. The course curriculum was delivered in the form of lectures, interactive sessions, case scenarios and research presentation in small group sessions. The themes of the curriculum featured; Diabetes in Children; etiology, epidemiology and classifications, Diabetes in clinical practice and research, technology applications in Diabetes, Diabetes management in special circumstances (school, sick days and Ramadan fasting), Diabetes complications; acute and chronic and Psychology and patient empowerment in Diabetes. 7 sessions were run by course faculty during which, 18 lectures were delivered. 5 parallel small group sessions were run which featured 39 clinical case scenarios and 22 research projects presentations by candidates.

The course ended with tasks to follow and recommendations. These included initiating ASPED Diabetes registry amongst different Arab countries. It was also planned that a committee from ASPED will be formed to put together guidelines for fasting Ramadan by young people with Diabetes. In addition, various multi-centric studies were proposed from different countries involving common Diabetes issues. Neonatal Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes are particularly common in the ASPED region and collaborative work will be initiated. Feedback reports from candidates and faculty will be analyzed. Plans regarding curriculum, venue and course format for future annual courses will be implemented based on faculty and attendees feedback reports.

The First ISPAD/ASPED/Lilly Diabetes Postgraduate Course:
The first ISPAD/ASPED/Lilly diabetes postgraduate course was held at the Sofitel hotel, Abu Dhabi between the 11th and the 13th June 2015. It was an initiative from ASPED in collaboration with ISPAD. The aim of the course was to empower and update physicians practicing in the Arab countries who are involved in the care of young people with diabetes and is intended to be a platform to share expertise, research and development in the field of diabetes. The course was advertised for open competition in ASPED and ISPAD sites and strict enrolment criteria was enforced by ASPED/ISPAD course committee. The curriculum covered the main issues related to diabetes management in young people and the latest updates and insights to physicians involved in managing children and young people with diabetes.

The meeting highlighted the interests and the needs of paediatric endocrinologists in the region. In addition it was the ideal setting for networking and brainstorming about research ideas, collaboration with international societies and programs and available resources. With prominent international and regional speakers from ISPAD and ASPED, the course gathered 65 participants from 13 countries, 9 mentors and 9 faculty members from ISPAD and ASPED.

The course showed a diverse gathering of paediatricians and diabetologists who participated heavily in the course curriculum.

Various formats of presentations and specialised sessions were run during the course covering the main topics in Diabetes including:
  • Diabetes in Children; etiology, epidemiology and classifications
  • Diabetes in clinical practice and research
  • Technology applications in Diabetes
  • Diabetes management in special circumstances (school, sick days and Ramadan fasting)
  • Diabetes complications; acute and chronic
  • Psychology and patient empowerment in Diabetes
The small group discussion, aligned in 5 parallel sessions, featured various interesting issues in diabetes. In addition to the scientific part of the talks, there was a special emphasis on religious and cultural issues unique to the region. Ramadan fasting by young people with diabetes was the main example. In addition, there has been a lot of discussion about diabetes service provision in less developed countries where resources are sparse.

The main topics for the small group discussions were:
  • Diabetes Unusual Presentations
  • Challenges of Diabetes Management
  • Type 1 Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes & Psychology
  • Diabetes Education
  • Monogenic Diabetes; MODY & Neonatal Diabetes
  • Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia
  • Obesity & Type 2 Diabetes
  • Diabetes & associated syndromes
Course special features and highlights:
Amongst all the interesting topics discussed in the course, there was an obvious common interest in presenting topics markedly related to the regional features of diabetes. Neonatal diabetes, metabolic complications of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes were highly popular topics presented by candidates. 10 abstracts related to neonatal diabetes were presented both as case scenario or research project presentation. Equally commonly-presented are type 2 diabetes-related issues in which 14 abstracts were submitted and presented.

Course tasks-to-follow and recommendations:
The conference enabled participants to meet and link up with senior ISPAD and ASPED researchers and clinical experts, as well as with regional experts and fellow clinicians in a collegial environment encouraging active discussions and exchange of ideas. Inspired by the course success, ASPED has set various goals among its top priorities for the near future. Various projects are planned by the ASPED group in collaboration with ISPAD. Amongst those, the following will have the priority:
  • ASPED will set a committee to work on providing guidelines for Ramadan fasting in young people with diabetes.
  • ASPED will initiate diabetes registry amongst various countries from the region


Representatives from the 3 collaborators
Prof AbdulJabarSr. Medical Advisor, Lilly
Dr Carine DeBeaufortISPAD Secretary General
Dr Mona Al KhawariASPED President
Dr Asma DeebASPED Secretary General
Dr Lamiya RizviMedical & Regulatory Director, Middle East, Lilly

ASPED/ISPAD Diabetes course attendees