Caring for our children: annual symposium on pediatric and adolescent medicine

Jennifer Muller, Office of Communications, jm26@aub.edu.lb​​​

The 9th Annual Pediatrics Update Symposium took place on February 23-24, 2018, gathering 26 speakers and over 320 pediatricians and healthcare workers from throughout the country to discuss advances related to clinical practice, research, and subspecialty care in pediatric and adolescent medicine. 

This annual educational activity is conducted by the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at AUBMC and further establishes the role of AUBMC as an academic center leading in education and research. 



Dr. Sami Sanjad, founder and chair of the symposium, addressed the audience in his opening remarks, thanking Dr. Miguel Abboud, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, for his unwavering support; the Continuing Medical Education (CME) office; the organizing committee; speakers; and attendees who have been taking part in this activity for the past nine years. 

“This is a very important activity for all those who care for children in Lebanon,” noted Dr. Abboud. He also thanked the speakers as well as the department members and residents who do their utmost to serve the children, the institution, and the community. Representing Dean Mohamed Sayegh, Dr. Kamal Badr commended the Department of Pediatrics for its remarkable achievements over the years in all aspects of education, patient care, and research. 

Hot topics in pediatric and adolescent healthcare

The symposium covered the latest topical subjects in pediatric and adolescent medicine, including emergent risk behaviors in adolescents such as e-cigarettes and energy drinks consumption. Along the same lines, updates in pediatric surgery and in surgery for obesity among youth were covered. 

A multi-disciplinary, holistic session was held to discuss sleep disorders and disturbances, which included views from psychiatry, pulmonology, and nephrology. In addition, there were sessions on neonatology updates, general pediatrics topics, neurology, hematology, and dentistry.

Two of the special guest speakers during the symposium were Dr. Carine De Beaufort, a world-renowned expert in childhood diabetes and endocrinology from Belgium and past president of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes; and Ms. Judy Moore, an advanced nurse specialist in neonatal EEG (electroencephalogram) reading. 

Focus on childhood diabetes

This year, a special session was dedicated to childhood diabetes, led by Dr. Hala Tfayli, associate professor of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at AUBMC. 

“Childhood diabetes is increasing in Lebanon and worldwide,” said Tfayli. “Scientific events like this one involving local and international experts are important to ensure quality care is provided to children living with this condition.”

The Chronic Care Center (CCC) was honored during this session for its more than 20 years of service to children with diabetes. A silver plate was presented to the CCC founder, Mouna Haraoui (Hon. DHL ’17), as a token of appreciation for her dedication to this cause and the establishment of this center. 

Haraoui expressed what a privilege it was to be honored by such a prestigious institution and noted that the collaboration between CCC and AUB dates back to the establishment of the center. She continued by thanking the CCC board members who are AUBMC faculty and also thanked Dr. Tfayli for treating the children with diabetes at the center. 

Following the plaque presentation, children with diabetes presented their testimonies and their lived experiences, which proved to be a moving and inspiring moment for all symposium participants.