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February 2013
South African Society of Psychiatrists

The South African Society of Psychiatrists’ (SASOP) 17th National Congress

7-11 September 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa

The 17th biennial national SASOP Congress was held on 7-11 September 2012 in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg, with the theme: “Pride, prejudice and promise – from origins to outcomes”. This was a WPA endorsed meeting and was structured in four tracks (bio, psycho, social and spiritual) to accommodate the different dimensions of the range of interests of the current different SASOP special interest groups.

Several distinguished international speakers attended this meeting, including: Prof. Dinesh Bhugra (UK), President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association; Prof. Dilip V. Jeste (USA), current President of the American Psychiatric Association; Prof. Robert Cloninger (USA), and Professor Seth Grant (UK). Three WPA Zonal Representatives also participated in this congress including Prof. Driss Moussaoui (Morocco) WPA Zone 11 - Northern Africa, Prof. Thirunavukarasu Manickam (India) WPA Zone 16 - Southern Asia, and Prof. Solly Rataemane (SA) WPA Zone 14 - Eastern and Southern Africa. The meeting was attended by 650 delegates, with representatives from other countries such as India, Morocco, Mauritius, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, Uganda, the UK, and the USA.

Dr. Ian Westmore, SASOP President at the time, pointed out that this meeting showcased developments in South African psychiatry, by looking at the troubled past, the current challenges of the day, and at promises that the future may hold. The Congress was also the highlight of the 60th anniversary celebrations during 2012, of the establishment of the SASOP in 1952.

Bernard J van Rensburg

Honorary Secretary, South African Society of Psychiatrists

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