The 10th anniversary GDDA conference kicked off on the evening of 7th October, at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel with a pre-conference dinner for some of our keen delegates and executive members. A dinner in the Madhu Restaurant provided a fine dining experience for some of the guests and a brilliant opportunity to catch up with some old friends and to make new ones. Following the dinner, some of the executive committee could be seen in the lobby thrashing out the finer details of how to make the event fantastic, well into the late hours of the day.
Saturday morning got off to a excitable start with guests began to congregating outside the American Room after some mingling over the sumptuous breakfast spread provided by the hotel and a warm welcome from our old faithful GDDA volunteers on the registration desk.
The first speak was Dr Ebenezer Badoe, Director of the Neurology Developmental Clinic, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. He spoke very passionately giving us an insight into the world of Autism using some great illustrations from his own clinics. He spoke about the challenges he faced in his practice. The first of which was that of associated pathology which sometimes masked the 'real' diagnosis. He also discussed how he tackled pre-existing health beliefs in Ghana. Much to our amazement, he revealed that at present there are only 6 psychiatrists in Ghana, and even fewer occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
The next speaker was Dr Susan Ozer, a Consultant Neurodevelopmental paediatrician, renowned child paediatrician and published author, who gave us the UK perspective on autism. She described some of the limitations that exist. To tackle the long waiting times for an assessment, she has worked on pathways, which have significant cut wait times in North Hertfordshire.
After a quick refreshment break, Dr Nana Acheampong gave us a spirited talk on the wonderful work he does at his 'Smiles For You' dental practice in South East London. Not only did we learn about the best toothpaste around but also about the advances in restorative care and the intricacies of implantalogy.
Finally, Dr Annan explained how Dr Ameyaw along with GDDA support was carrying out brilliant work with paediatric diabetics in Ghana. There's more work to be done and as organisation we want to get behind this great man and his efforts. Details of how to donate can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.
We were honoured to have Dr Boayke, from the Ghana Physicians & Surgeons Foundation in the States who told us how to make our plans to expand our membership work. In the next few months, you will hopefully see some of those suggestions being put into action. Hopefully we will also see some collaboration between the two organisations in the coming years. All GDDA-UK members have been invited to come and see what they do and how they do it in Atlanta next year.
The evening's Dinner Dance was littered with Glitz and Glamour as we celebrated our 10th Anniversary in Style. With performances from a 4-piece string quartet and some hilarious entertainment from Kevin J the comedian - this night is one we won't forget in a hurry.
We would like to thank all the people who helped make this event a roaring success, and our sponsors who also helped make this all possible. You can find some links to visit our sponsors webpages below.
-article by Adwoa Danso (Young Professionals Recruitment Officer)