Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
On behalf of the South African Scientific Programme committee and the Paediatric Neurology and Development Association of Southern Africa, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to the 18th International Child Neurology Conference in 2024 “Footsteps to the Future” to be held in Cape Town, South Africa
Child neurology is a rapidly evolving field with an emerging but severely under-resourced base of expertise across the African continent, a region which is projected to have 40% of the world’s children by 2050. The growing burden of neurological and developmental risk in our populations is an ongoing challenge for the practising clinicians in the region, but also an opportunity to find solutions with global impact. ICNA was first held on African soil, with the 11th International Conference in North Africa in Egypt in 2010. This was indeed a developmental milestone for child neurology and child development in Africa. We now invite you to return to Africa, this time to the south with a renewed focus on growing capacity in the paediatric neurological disciplines in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
South Africa has a remarkable history, with the advent of democracy nearly three decades ago remaining an inspiration to so many people around the world. Cape Town itself, is one of the world’s most gorgeous cities, nestled between mountain and sea in a truly spectacular location. Notable examples of medical achievements from our city were the Nobel Prize-winning work of Allan Cormack in developing the CT scanner, as well as the first human heart transplant by Christiaan Barnard in 1967. SSA has the lowest ratio of child neurology specialists compared to other WHO regions. In line with the ICNA mission and vision of promoting education, training units in South Africa have specifically upscaled this capacity through the African Paediatric Fellowship Program, which was initiated in Cape Town. March 2020 also saw the opening of the new UCT Neurosciences Institute, an integrated clinical and research institute which houses state-of-the-art training, laboratory and imaging facilities, as well as multi-disciplinary neuro-discipline clinic space with a clinical and scientific focus on promoting brain health and development in the region.
We are excited to offer you a programme reflecting a vibrant combination of developments in the science and practice of child neurology from across the globe and insights into the unique challenges and understanding that can be gained from working in child neurology in the African ecosystem.