WCD2023: Dermatology Beyond Borders - European Medical Journal

WCD2023: Dermatology Beyond Borders

5 Mins

Disclaimer: The World Congress of Dermatology (WCD) is a media partner of EMJ.

The 25th World Congress of Dermatology (WCD), the most anticipated and significant event in the field of dermatology worldwide, will take place from 3rd–8th July 2023.

The congress will be held in futuristic Singapore, a city-state that has developed clinical services for dermato-venereology since the early 1900s. The first venereology service dates back to 1934, and evolved into a dermatology clinic at the Outram Road General Hospital in 1945. The increase in demand for services subsequently led to the establishment of the Middle Road Hospital, the forerunner of the National Skin Centre in 1988, and the subsequent creation of dermatology departments in most of the public hospitals in the country.

Singapore is the perfect setting to host a meeting that sets an ambitious goal: to push dermatology beyond its borders by providing all participants with an innovative conference in an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity.

In the words of Roy Chan, President of WCD2023, and Yen Loo Lim, Secretary-General: “The goal of the 25th WCD is to foster co-operation and collaboration across geographical, political, and economic boundaries to promote dermatology, and improve skin health for all. We are aware of the difficult situation in which many people find themselves as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, COVID-related restrictions, and the difficult economic circumstances that many are facing. We have made every effort to implement financial and other support to make the meeting more accessible to as many persons as possible.” With regard to the scientific programme, Chan and Lim reiterated: “The Congress will present a broad, deep, and interesting scientific programme that will cover not only clinical areas, but also enhance patient and community engagement, and understanding of basic and translational research. We aim to transcend borders to be an inclusive conference that will celebrate diversity.”

The Scientific Programme is the crowning glory of a Congress that aims to present as complete a picture of the current state of the art of dermatology as is possible in a conference. Participants will be able to benefit from a rich and diverse programme that includes 208 symposia, five plenary sessions with 15 keynote talks and five distinguished lectureships, 24 courses, 19 expert forums, eight Controversies in Dermatology, 64 free communications, late-breaking and resident sessions, and 30 Dermatological Society of Singapore (DSS) and League of ASEAN Dermatological Societies (LADS) sessions.

The Scientific Programme will feature some of the world’s leading experts to share their experience and knowledge, speaking on the latest discoveries and advances in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases.

Some of these experts were involved well before the start of the Congress, with the goal of accompanying the public towards the event with video presentations, interviews, and podcasts. Information was disseminated in particular through the digital dimension during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued post-pandemic. Such efforts have contributed significantly to creating and increasing anticipation for a WCD that promises to be full of surprises.

Those interested in viewing the above-mentioned material should visit the Congress’ social channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, or go directly to the list of podcasts and interviews.

Another important aspect of WCD2023 will be the emphasis on the theme of sustainability. The 2030 Agenda has caused the events sector, and others, to question the need to organise meetings. Can meetings be organised that are more sustainable from all perspectives: transportation, energy consumption, food waste, and the environmental impact on host cities?

In this context, WCD2023 strives to achieve a better balance between event realisation and impact.

A foresighted objective on the issue of sustainability enabled the creation of a Congress that has tried to control the environmental, social, and economic impact.

Specifically, a document was drafted that became the Congress manifesto: the WCD2023 Green Policy, taking into account the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals and the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The policy is complemented by the WCD2023 Green Nudges, a list of 25 actions aimed at instilling a sense of responsibility to all stakeholders involved. This will hopefully mitigate negative impact inherent in the realisation of a major event.

Sponsors and exhibitors are most involved in this process, with the Congress launching a true Green Challenge to demonstrate how waste and pollution caused by product packaging can be reduced, as well as sharing their sustainable production and disposal practices. This is another example of concreteness to bridge the gap between words and actions.

WCD2023 has also joined the OneMillionTrees movement, a project that aims to protect nature in Singapore by planting one million trees over the next 10 years. The initiative is part of Singapore’s transformation into a City in Nature, a key component of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, to which WCD2023 has made a concrete contribution through a fundraising campaign to support the local charity Garden City Fund, in order to offset the effects of Congress.

Finally, WCD2023 has represented a continuous and constant quest for excellence in terms of scientific and educational proposals, always with the utmost attention to the theme of sustainability; we therefore have no choice but to await news of the 25th edition of the World Congress of Dermatology. We are inspired by the words of Lars E. French, President of The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS): “Building on the successes of WCD2015 in Vancouver and WCD2019 in Milan, the World Congress of Dermatology 2023 promises to be a very special event, and the countdown to Singapore has begun!”

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