A Conference With Difference: ARSICON 2017 Dimapur


In general conferences are about presentation of papers and sometimes there are Symposia and teaching sessions. Some of the conferences publish the various presentations so that others can benefit by them. However the Association of Surgeons of India conference has been organized with a difference this year. The organizers sincerely hope that the benefits of the innovative approach would be useful to the rural areas in India. The innovative features are as follows:

    The rural surgery is different from surgeries at the urban hospitals or the medical colleges in that they are performed under resource poor settings and diagnosis depend on clinical skills rather than expensive investigations. However the various protocols and Standard Operating Procedures are from teaching institutions and are difficult to apply in rural areas. For example CT scan is given as the diagnostic tool for appendicitis and to have it done a rural patient needs to travel more than 100 kilometers and spend much more money and waste time instead of spending the money on surgical treatment. Hence clinical diagnosis is sufficient in rural areas. However there is no official document available to inform non – medical persons that clinical diagnosis is sufficient for diagnosis. If at the end of the conference such protocols are available for common surgical conditions these would greatly facilitate the rural surgeons
    This is a new session that is added to the conference to present collective view on various issues. For example one of the issues the Association of Rural Surgeons of India is strongly advocating is the UDBT or Unbanked direct blood transfusions that are lifesaving and have been in use for many years without causing any serious problems. Similarly the standards for rural hospitals should be different from the Urban Hospitals and the suggestions have greater voice if they come as a team and as “Consensus Statements”.
    The sessions from International organizations like the Lancet commission on global surgery, the University of Leeds, the Harvard University and the Maastricht University in Holland etc., helps to get new and unbiased views and opinion about meeting the surgical needs of rural areas.
    The planning session for Surgical Care in Northeast is the most important session of the conference. It would bring all the stakeholders together to plan and discuss about how to improve the surgical care in Northeast India. Organizations like University of Leeds and Harvard University and Lancet commission on Global health are happy to pitch in and help. The concept of human resource and equipment sharing would benefit many rural surgeons as would the proposed “Task Specific Training and Competency based Credentialing” program.


The details of the conference program is given below.

gnanaraj Dr. J. Gnanaraj MS, MCh [Urology], FICS, FARSI, FIAGES is a urologist and laparoscopic surgeon trained at CMC Vellore. He has been appointed as a Professor in the Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering Department of Karunya University and is the Director of Medical Services of the charitable organization SEESHA. He has a special interest in rural surgery and has trained many surgeons in remote rural areas while working in the mission hospitals in rural India. He has helped 21 rural hospitals start minimally invasive surgeries. He has more than 150 publications in national and international journals, most of which are related to modifications necessary for rural surgical practice. He received the Barker Memorial award from the Tropical Doctor for the work regarding surgical camps in rural areas. He is also the recipient of the Innovations award of Emmanuel Hospital Association for health insurance programs in remote areas and the Antia Finseth innovation award for Single incision Gas less laparoscopic surgeries. During the past year, he has been training surgeons in innovative gas less single incision laparoscopic surgeries.
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