Havana, Cuba: 26-27 May 2015

WAO holds ESP/WATS conference in Havana, Cuba

The WAO Emerging Society/WATS program held in Havana, Cuba May 26-27, 2015 was a huge success. Dr. Lanny Rosenwasser opened the IV Ibero-American and VIII Cuban National Allergy Congress with an audience of over 250 allergists, nurses, and fellows-in-training from Cuba, Columbia, Mexico, Argentina, and Guatemala. Dr. Mirta Alvarez Castello, President of the Cuban Allergy Society, highlighted the history of the society, founded in 1942, and the need for more young allergists to replace many of the 250 plus Cuban allergists, many of whom will be retiring in the near future. Dr. Dania Emma Fabre Ortiz, the Scientific Chair of the Congress, discussed the high prevalence and increased medical costs of severe asthma in Cuban children over the past 10 years.

The WAO/ACAAI plenary session was introduced by Dr. Dana Wallace, who highlighted the background of the ESP/WATS Program and the membership benefits that both the WAO and ACAAI offered to international society members. Educational presentations were given by Dr. James Sublett (Environmental Control), Dr. Bob Lanier (Chronic Urticaria), Dr. Rossenwasser (Allergic Rhinitis), and Dr. Dana Wallace (Anaphylaxis).  During an interactive case presentation symposium, the attendees had an opportunity to reinforce their learning and ask questions of the speakers. Fifty (50) young physicians and allergy nurses attended an in-depth workshop on allergy skin testing conducted by all four (4) WAO professors. A very productive “Planning for the Future” discussion was held with Dr. Alverez and other members of the Cuban Allergy Society Executive Board. Our ESP/WATS outreach to Cuba opened the doors to many future opportunities for collaboration, WAO activity involvement, and educational exchange.