16th Annual Conference of BACAMH in Dhaka Bangladesh

By Sifat E Syed, Treasurer, BACAMH

16th Annual General Meeting of BACAMH

The 16th annual conference and General Meeting of BACAMH (Bangladesh Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health) was held on 14-15 November, 2023 in Krishibid Institute of Dhaka, Bangladesh. This year’s theme was ‘Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Focus on family’. A total of 264 participants registered for the 2 day program. The conference gathered participants from different disciplines who work for child and adolescent mental health including psychiatrists, psychologists, paediatricians, paediatric neurologists, social workers and child developmental workers.  

The inaugural ceremony was chaired by Prof. Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. The program was presided by president of BACAMH Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed and renowned psychiatrists - Prof. Md. Golam Rabbani, Prof. Waziul Alam Chowdhury and Prof. Md. Azizul Islam and Prof. Nahid Mahjabin Morsahed were special guests of the inaugural ceremony. Secretary General Dr. Niaz Mohammad Khan started the ceremony with his welcome address. President-elect Prof. Shalahuddin Qusar Biplob closed the inauguration by his vote of thanks. 

Inauguration of the conference, Chief guest Prof. Dr. Sharfuddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Bangababandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in the middle

Children singing at the cultural night

In the scientific conference, 13 scientific papers were presented. There were 4 plenary sessions, 1 Keynote Presentation, 9 free paper sessions, one Syed Kamaluddin memorial oration and 2 workshops. A stimulating scientific debate was held with the title ‘Eastern style of parenting is better than Western”. There was a cultural soiree entirely preformed by the residents of psychiatry and the event was full of singing, dancing, play and recitation.  

A special oration is named after Late Prof. Syed Kamaluddin Ahmed, a distinguished and respected psychiatrist of Bangladesh and this year Syed Kamaluddin Ahmed memorial oration was delivered by Prof. Md. Faruq Alam whose topic was ‘Gaps and Options in Child Mental Health in Bangladesh’. Keynote presenter was President of BACAMH, Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed who spoke on the theme of the conference ‘Focus on family’.  

Interactive workshops were conducted on ABA therapy by Thuji Grace and Prof. Jhunu Shamsun Nahar, conducted a workshop on ‘Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) . 

On Day 1 morning session, two plenary lectures were delivered by by Paediatric Neurologist Prof. Gopen Kundu on ‘Management of Neurologic Wilson disease: Challenges & opportunity ‘ and Psychiatrist Prof. AA Mamun Hossain ‘The Game of Death: Effects of the war on our children and the looming mental health crisis’. Dermatologist Dr. Saiful Ahmed Bhuiyan spoke on ‘Psychosocial Impact of Chronic Childhood Skin Diseases’ and Psychiatrist Prof. MMA Shalahuddin Qusar Biplob spoke on ‘Guideless media use by adolescents leading to addiction and age inappropriate cognition’. 

Plants given as token of appreciation from BACAMH to all speakers, chairs and session co-coordinators

The two day conference ended with the Annual General Meeting presided by Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed. The reports of the Secretary General, academic secretary and treasurer were presented and approved. AGM ended with declaration of next year’s program date which will take place on 12-13 November, 2024 and the theme of the 17th conference will be ‘Technology and child mental health’ 

Usual trend in Bangladesh is to provide a crest after each presentation. BACAMH from last year, started a new trend of presenting a plant to all the speakers and session chairs instead of crest and this eco-friendly initiative of BACAMH was highly appreciated by everyone. Also this year, there was no printed program book, rather it was an e-book which was available with QR scan. For next year’s conference, BACAMH expects to have more International participants as speakers.