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Subregional and Interregional Organisation Task Force (SIROTF)

Commission Members

Nadir E. Barucha
Lumpur, India

Manuel Campos
Santiago, Chile

Amadou Gallo Diop
Dakar, Senegal
Peter Halasz
Budapest, Hungary
Antonio Martins da Silva
Lisbon, Portugal
Amel Mrabet
Tunis, Tunisia
Pierre-Marie Preux
Limoges, France
Henry Stokes
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Chong Tin Tan
Kuala, Malaysia
Basim Yaqub
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

To promote and assist sub- or interregional coordinated actions aimed at developing education, healthcare and research in the field of epilepsy by groups of countries that for common historical, cultural and linguistic background are naturally prepared to collaborate.

Activities During 2003-2005

  1. 8th Mediterranean Epilepsy conference was held in Marrakech 17-21 November 2004. SIROTF took part actively in the organization and helped not only in raising funds but in arranging the scientific program as well. The meeting was very successful with attendance of 350 physicians from almost all Mediterranean countries and lecturers from all over the world with a high scientific content. It was also a very important opportunity for the Morocco chapter to improve and to present their original studies. SIROTF gave grants for the best oral and poster presentations, which went to Moroccan and Turkish researchers. Recipients were selected by an international jury.

  2. A chapter convention for Mediterranean countries and members of the Eastern Mediterranean Commission was held during the meeting to discuss the future of the EPIMED, which revealed a sincere wish to continue in this way among the participants. The next one was decided to be in 2006 and the venue will be decided later. This convention enabled different countries located in the Middle East, North Africa and Arabic peninsula as well as southern Europe to gather and discuss the problems they faced from different aspects. Small workshops dedicated to epidemiology were chaired by WA Hauser and genetics chaired by F Zara. They concluded with the decision to establish further collaboration among the countries.

  3. 9th Mediterranean Epilepsy Conference was organized by the Lebanon chapter of ILAE after an election procedure finalized on 25 September 2005. Except for two, all of the 21 chapters around the Mediterranean Sea sent their ballot forms, 12 votes for Lebanon and 7 votes for Serbia Montenegro; this result was declared to all chapters by a letter. The other candidate, Portugal, withdrew its candidacy and a third option proposed by Tunisian League (cruise tour on the Mediterranean Sea) was not selected by any chapters.

  4. First Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology Journey from Luanda.

  5. University Agostinho Neto – Luanda, Angola, 18 February 2005 was held by Prof Antonio Martins da Silva from Portugal to gather Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa. There were several events organized and a declaration on epilepsy in Africa was prepared. This was also in the context of the ILAE-IBE Global Campaign; therefore, not only physicians but health workers from different disciplines were also involved.  An international meeting in Angola was also decided to be held in the near future. This meeting reflects the importance of communication by a common language, a very important achievement in this respect.

  6. Countries in Central America sharing similar problems and language are having organizations based on education. Henry Stokes from Guatemala informed us that El Salvador, Belize and countries from the Caribbean region (Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico) were prepared to become members of ILAE.

  7. In French-speaking Africa, according to the information provided by PM Preux, activities are on course between the French League Against Epilepsy and Senegalese League (sister leagues). An intervention project is actually going on in Mali (Santé Sud) and two research projects (CORUS projects funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) are going on in Benin (PM Preux, G Avode, D Houinato) and in Senegal (G Farnarier, L Gueye).

  8. The Commission on Eastern Mediterranean Affairs (CEMA) had an inaugural meeting in Jeddah on 15 January 2004. Relationships and further collaborations between CEMA and SIROTF were established and a joint course with EUREPA was organized during the 8th EPIMED.

  9. Chong Tan Tin from Malaysia presented the situation in Asian Oceania area. World Chinese Congresses and Asian Epilepsy Conference were the main large meetings on epilepsy with many attendees from different countries. It was mentioned that the Pacific Rim Epilepsy Working Group, south Asian countries, former Soviet countries in Central Asia and the island states in Oceania were the other possible subregional groupings.

  10. Business meetings were held in Lisbon and Vienna during the International and European Epilepsy Congresses.

Future Projects

  1. A joint teaching course will be organized by Georgia in collaboration with other Caucasian countries, namely Armenia and Azerbaijan, dedicated to Principles in Diagnosis and Treatment of Epilepsy with national and international lecturers in a didactic format.

  2. Mediterranean Epilepsy Conferences (EPIMED) will continue every other year. Therefore the next one (9th EPIMED) was voted and decided to be in Lebanon.

  3. Portuguese-speaking African countries will continue their meetings.

  4. CEMA will collaborate on EPIMED meetings.

  5. Central American countries will continue their regional meetings and begin preparing for future educational activities within the context of academia similar to EUREPA.


Çiðdem Özkara, Chair
Istanbul, Turkey

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