In an email released 17th April, the organizers of the African Congress on SCD clarified the new realities on an international event scheduled to take place November 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria:
‘We understand this is a particularly challenging and unprecedented time for our global community. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, we stand by the industry, colleagues and the SCD community as the situation evolves. We extend our hearts and thoughts to individuals who have been affected by this unprecedented condition.
‘Taking into consideration the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, the 2nd African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease(ACSCD2020) set to take place in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria in November 2020 has been rescheduled for 2021. After carefully considering the impact of COVID-19 on current working timelines and possible options reviewed with our partners and the Congress host, the Steering Committee decided that it was in the best interest of the SCD community and the great people of Nigeria to reschedule the Congress for 2021.
‘The health and safety of ACSCD Congress participants are of paramount importance to us. We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency, to be able to proactively provide congress attendees with as much information as possible in partnership with international and local health authorities.
‘We remain committed to delivering a more broad and impactful Congress that meets the needs of the wider SCD community especially at this unique moment in time. Confirmed new dates for a rescheduled Congress in 2021, hosted in Abuja by the Federal Ministry of Health and supported by the World Health Organization amongst other relevant key stakeholders, will be communicated in due course following further resolutions by the Committee. The Program Committee will continue to compile an impactful program and is looking for significant additions to the content and arrangement of the Congress.
‘At this time, all existing discussions and preparations for the upcoming ACSCD Congress remain ongoing. We will keep up with our plans while working with partners and supporters to deliver a broad, inclusive and more impactful second Congress.
‘We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and share additional information with congress participants via our Newsletters and Social media platforms. Our thoughts are with those affected and we wish them a full recovery.
‘Aiming to provide a better experience for all participants, we’re also developing an efficient Data Management System that we hope will enable participants easy and seamless access to ACSCD Congress. We will be providing more updates on this feature, including the latest developments.’
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