Held from 1-3 March at the University of Pretoria’s
Groenkloof Campus, this year’s UPdate Annual Conference again provided the
ideal opportunity for paediatricians and other healthcare professionals
involved in the treatment of paediatric patients to update themselves on the
latest developments in the care of their patients.

Chaired by Prof Robin Green, the conference kicked off on
the Friday with two ventilation workshops that covered an introduction to
ventilation and the different modes, and a session on how to ventilate
different types of diseases presented by Dr Despina Demopoulos followed by a
demonstration and practical session on the newer modes of ventilation such as

The official programme included presentations on
Pulmunology, Immunology, Genetics and Neonatology. Speakers included Dr Omolemo
Ktichin who discussed “From wheeze to asthma and everything in between” and Dr
Cathy van Rooyen who presented on recurrent infections and when doctors should
get concerned. Prof André van Niekerk discussed the hot topic of Immunoglobulin
replacement therapy and when it is indicated while Dr Annelize Green gave
advice on how to mobilise parents as copartners in the treatment of children.
Other topics included “The micobiome and mind control” (Dr Greg Lamb) while
Prof Debbie van der Westhuizen shared her insights on adolescent mental health.

The conference ended on Sunday with two riveting presentations
on improving outcomes in very premature neonates and identifying the risk of
neurodevelopment impairment in premature infants by South African-born
neonatologist, Dr Jessie van Dyk who is an assistant professor at the
Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and a staff
neonatologist at St Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.

Concluding the conference was well-known psychiatrist, Dr
Franco Colin who discussed burnout in doctors and specifically in paediatricians
– the causes, treatment and management of this condition that is becoming more
and more prevalent in South Africa due to the difficult and stressful
environment they work in. An article on his presentation is available on Med
Brief Africa: https://medbriefafrica.co.za/beating-burnout-a-daunting-but-achievable-feat/

The presentations of the speakers will be made available by
the University of Pretoria’s Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.