Cuba hosts the First International Neurodevelopment and Early Childhood Care Congress

Source:  Granma
June 21 2016

Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu

Neurological ailments and therapies for children debated

An analysis of the consequences of neurological problems in children was the focus of debates during the First International Neurodevelopment and Early Childhood Care Congress, held June 15-17, in the Grand Memories hotel, in the beach resort of  Varadero.

neurodevelopment congress in cuba.jpgScientific results were presented in the form of dissertations; round table discussions; key-note lectures; case presentations; special thematic conferences, and poster sessions. Photo: Nuria Barbosa León

An analysis of the consequences of neurological problems in children was the focus of debates during the First International Neurodevelopment and Early Childhood Care Congress, held June 15-17, in the Grand Memories hotel, in the beach resort of Varadero.

The academic event organized by Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health, University of Medical Sciences of Matanzas, Provincial Council of Scientific Societies and the Mexican Institute of Early Childhood Stimulation and Human Development, brought together of over 100 Cuban specialists and 80 delegates from the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and El Salvador to discuss the most recent advances in the sphere of infant neurophysiology.

Neurocognitive disorders in children

The event agenda included the presentation of results of evaluations and diagnoses of neurocognitive disorders in children, including autism; increased cerebral electrical activity, new discoveries and therapeutic approaches; neuro-rehabilitation treatments for newborns at risk of neurological damage; as well as the main results of research by the Rosa Luxemburg Neurodevelopment Center, located in the municipality of Cárdenas, in the western province of Matanzas.

Speaking to Granma International, Silena Dinza Lores from Mexico, noted that the event was organized around the outcomes of two workshops hosted by the Rosa Luxemburg Center for international experts: “Early detection in the diagnosis and care of neurodevelopmental conditions” and “Patient rehabilitation.”

“During these training sessions,” explained Lores, also a Sports Science graduate, “professionals acquired a group of tools to use in their daily work, hence the importance of presenting the results obtained and sharing opinions in order to develop improved therapeutic procedures to better treat our patients.”

Cuban professionals don’t hide their knowledge, they share it openly

Yovany Itzel Vergara Castillo from Panama who participated in the event, attended both workshops – interested in learning about Cuba’s experience. “Here children are prioritized, great efforts are made to comprehensively rehabilitate and treat infants with effective programs, many of which have the potential to be further developed. Cuban professionals don’t hide their knowledge, they share it openly, which creates a climate of friendship and genuine exchange with the goal of helping people,” she noted.

Dr. Mauricio León Iza, from Colombia, who presented two papers during the event, entitled: “The pre-natal brain and risk factors for neurodevelopment,” and “Neurobiological correlates of early life care,” agrees.
The neurologist with a PhD in molecular biology explained, “I am interested in how the brain and nervous system work, I want to know what happens when these organs become sick or conditions develop as a result of poor practices. I’m talking about premature babies or those which suffer some accident either before or during birth. I am also researching infectious diseases in pregnant women and newborns in order to discover the causes of neurological problems which affect the normal development of a child.”

The opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries

The scientific event contributed to participants’ professional development and gave them the opportunity to meet colleagues from different countries, also working on important therapies to treat neurophysical and physiological conditions in children.
Also recognized during the Congress were Cuba’s advances in the field, which has seen the contribution of various experts across different disciplines in both diagnosing and evaluating cases.

Meanwhile, Dolores Lipnik from Argentina, is basing her research on the Bobath approach to developing therapies to address problems resulting from impairment of the developing central nervous system which affects the patient’s sensory-motor, cognitive, perceptual, social and emotional development. The method owes its name to its creators, physiotherapist Berta Bobath and her husband, neurologist Karel Bobath, both from Germany.
Her lecture entitled: “Building progress through motor development,” featured various developmental activities for disabled and able-bodied children. For her, it is important to engage the muscle-skeletal system from the first days post-birth in order to ensure good posture and reduce walking defects.

“I have learned about many new experiences during the Congress,” noted the physiotherapy and kinesiology graduate from the Argentine province of Salta, “I have spoken with highly-trained people. Cubans have shown what they are doing, on the basis of social guarantees within an inclusive healthcare system, with sufficient coverage to compressively treat any condition from which a child might be suffering.”

Scientific results were presented in the form of dissertations; round table discussions; key-note lectures; case presentations; special thematic conferences, and poster sessions. Meanwhile, the event also featured an exposition promoting and presenting relevant healthcare products and technology.

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