by Katrina Rose Baluyot, MD and Sarah Nain, MD
The Philippines hosted the 20th International Leprosy Congress (ILC) last September 10 to 13, 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The participants were welcomed by the ILC president, Dr. Roch Christian Johnson and by the Secretary of Department of Health, Dr. Francisco T. Duque. The 20th ILC was attended by 1000 participants from 17 countries; from scientists, researchers, health staff, partners, and to individuals affected by leprosy. The Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and its Leprosy core group had an active participation in this honourable congress. The first day of this event is the pre-congress symposia with workshops. The succeeding three days were of plenary sessions and parallel sessions. Dr. Ma. Teresita G. Gabriel, head of the leprosy core group and Dr. Ma. Angela M. Lavadia, immediate past president of PDS, were given the task to be moderators of the plenary sessions. A part of this congress is the exhibition of posters that is themed by day with an average of 120 posters a day. Consultants and residents of different institutions also participated during the break-out sessions, from a total of 712 abstract submissions and 296 papers for oral presentation that were presented in nine break-out rooms with 18 sessions per day at 6-8 presenters per session. Everyone was invited to attend the Fellowship night held on the last day of the Congress. The foreign guests were entertained with folk dances and songs that were presented by the Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe. Certificates were awarded for the participation of different individuals, societies and partners that made this Congress a success.