Jamaica will host the inaugural International Spinal Injury Symposium, slated to being on Monday, December 2.
The event, to be staged under the auspices of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), will feature presentations from some of the foremost authorities on the subject.
They include Professor Michael Fehlings and Professor Charles Fisher from Canada.
Other scheduled speakers will include Senator Dr. Floyd Morris, representing the physically challenged community; and representatives of the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre.
Testimonials will also be delivered by persons living in paralysis as a result of spinal cord injury.
Participants in the symposium are expected to include orthopaedic and spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, medical residents, nurses, physiotherapists, general practitioners and healthcare leaders from across the country.
Conference Chairman, Dr. Ian Neil, who heads the KPH’s Orthopaedic Department, told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), that the symposium will sensitise medical personnel methodologies to identify and treat major spinal injuries, while preventing further injury.
Neil emphasised the need for greater attention to be paid to individuals afflicted with spinal injuries, which he described as a “quiet problem” pervading the society “[that is] destroying people”, especially young people.
He highlighted several issues, which, he noted, can potentially compound the problem.
“One of the delays we face is people reaching to specialist centres. The other problem we have is people having a lack of understanding of injuries to the spine, how to identify that there is a problem and how to treat the problem specifically to prevent it from getting worse,” he said, while underscoring that Jamaica stands to benefit significantly from the forum.