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Personal Views Personal views

Conferences should be held where the problems are

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:613
  1. Andrew R Potter, ophthalmologist
  1. Benin Republic, West Africa

    It is not often that I receive an invitation to attend an international conference. We who labour in the remote outposts of poor countries are hardly top of the list of likely candidates for such meetings. And, let me be honest, it is not a personalised invitation as such, but only a brochure sent out to a wide constituency of those who might have an interest in eliminating vitamin A deficiency. It is addressed to “Dear colleague” and says, “It is our pleasure to invite you, we look forward to your participation …and know that your attendance will add to its success.” I read on.

    The meeting is sponsored by the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG), which is dedicated to reducing the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency worldwide. IVACG hopes to promote research and awareness of the problem of vitamin A deficiency by means of such international meetings and to encourage innovative action. Aside from the formal lectures and scientific presentations, the meeting will afford …

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