Bolivian Chapter’s Congress Addresses Multidisciplinary and Integral Treatment of Chronic Pain Patients

Dec 7, 2015

The Asociación Boliviana del Dolor (Bolivian Pain Society, official chapter of IASP in Bolivia) celebrated its 3rd International Pain Congress, October 21-24, in the country’s capital of La Paz. The congress attracted more than 300 pain research and management professionals from all over Bolivia as well as delegates from Mexico, Paraguay, and other Latin American countries. The congress had a multidisciplinary program with sessions and talks on various aspects of pain medicine as well as on psychology, nursing, physical therapy, and complementary medicine.

The congress was of a very high level, not only because of the excellent quality of the scientific program but also on purely physical grounds: La Paz at almost 4,000 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level is the highest capital city on earth, and its airport has the distinction of being the world’s highest altitude commercial airport. Visitors had to fight the sorocho, or altitude sickness, with a variety of remedies including the indigenous medicine of mate de coca, or infusion of coca leaves.

The congress included a training course on pain treatment, carried out in a local hospital, and seven practical workshops that showed various interventionist techniques for pain patients. There were more than 60 talks, including those from invited speakers from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Panama, and Spain, as well as many from Bolivian professionals. Topics ranged from basic aspects of pain neurobiology to pharmacological and interventionist treatments as well as complementary techniques of pain management. A central theme was the multidisciplinary and integral treatment of the chronic pain patient. Fernando Cervero, IASP past-president and Latin America liaison, represented IASP.

The Bolivian Pain Society has grown and developed in recent years and has made a special effort to increase awareness about pain medicine and palliative care in Bolivia. It is an important chapter of IASP in Latin America that is making significant contributions to help patients with chronic pain. Congratulations to its president, Dr. Marco Antonio Narvaez, and to the entire board and membership of the association.

Bolivia Congress

Dr. Marco A. Narvaez, president of the Bolivian Chapter; IASP Past-President Fernando Cervero, and Dr. Jose R. Gonzalez-Escalada of Spain recently attended the 3rd International Pain Congress in La Paz, Bolivia.