Iraqi Guests Say They are Proud to be the First to Attend the ASTMH Annual Meeting

Posted 8 November 2017

“We are proud to be the first Iraqis to participate in this scientific event. We have come for the mutual collaboration and to increase our knowledge,” Ekhlas Khalid of the Al Kindy College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, said of her experience at TropMed17 and that of her four colleagues.

The five Iraqi researchers were the special guests of ASTMH, recognized by President Patricia F. Walker, MD, DTM&H, FASTMH, during the Annual Meeting’s opening ceremony, where they received a round of applause from attendees.

“We want to thank Dr. Walker for the generous accommodation and welcome and also (Scientific Program Chair) Daniel Bausch for the invitation,” said Mohammed Alqortasi, Dean of Al Kindy College of Medicine. “We hope to see all of our colleagues in our country someday and, hopefully, we will join you all again for the next meeting” in New Orleans.

He said attending the meeting was a great opportunity to explain to colleagues the challenges faced by healthcare professionals in Iraq, to network with other professionals and to share information about improving medical education worldwide. “We want everyone to know that event though Iraq has been exposed to many wars and terrorism, we are rising up and we are trying to catch up on the most updated science,” he said.

Taghreed Alhaidari agreed and said TropMed17 was a pivotal step. “We would like to make a bridge with the Society because it’s the first time that we are here and we are looking to become a member. We are also encouraging our colleagues to become members of the Society and to study tropical medicine,” she said.

“And to stay in touch with our American colleagues with any details about infectious problems,” added Ebtesam Salih.