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June 2010
Conference on "Advanced Psychiatry" in Palestine

The Hellenic Psychiatric Association in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Palestinian Ministry of Health has organized a course on "Advanced Psychiatry", funded by the European Union, in Ramallah, Palestine on 16 May, 2010.

At the Opening, the Deputy Minister of Health of Palestine Dr. Anan Al Mastri stressed the long-lasting close relationship of the Greek and Palestinian psychiatric communities and expressed the gratitude of the Palestinian Ministry of Health for this continuing collaboration. Professor George Christodoulou, the Honorary President of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, responded expressing the satisfaction of the Greek psychiatric community for its long-standing cooperation with the Arabic psychiatric communities, starting with the Declaration of the island of Kos concerning the condition of detention of Iraqi prisoners, the mediation of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association (in collaboration with the World Psychiatric Association) for the production of anti-war statements by the Lebanese Psychiatric Association and the Israeli Psychiatric Association, with the agreement of the Palestinian Psychiatric Association and the educational initiatives undertaken by the Association in collaboration with national Arabian psychiatric associations.

Dr. Bassam Al Ashab, President of the Psychiatric Association of Palestine referred to the fruitful cooperation of the two psychiatric communities and underlined the role played by Prof. George Christodoulou in the initiation of these activities. Lastly, Dr. Nargiza Khodjaeva, WHO Mental Health Project Manager, who organized this well-attended event spoke thanking the numerous participants for their participation and the presenters for their contribution.

The scientific program consisted of a talk by Prof. George Christodoulou on "Ethical issues in Psychiatry", a talk by Prof. Yiannis Giouzepas on "New developments and treatment issues in schizophrenia", a talk by Prof. Dimitris Ploumpidis on "Steps in community-based psychiatry" and a talk by Prof. George Christodoulou on "Psychosocial consequences of Disasters". Interesting discussion followed, pertaining more intensely on the cultural issues that determine ethical norms in the Arab world. The Deputy Minister recommended distributing the presentations to all medical facilities in Palestine and expressed the hope that this initiative will be continued.

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