Top marks for summit of osteoporosis societies in Armenia!

The 2nd Summit for Eurasian and Eastern European societies, held on October 23, 2018, was an outstanding event and highly valued opportunity for networking, learning and sharing new ideas.

"It was unforgettable and inspiring!” stated IOF CEO Philippe Halbout when describing the 2nd International Summit in Armenia for Eurasian and Eastern European Countries. The Summit, held in Yerevan, Armenia and hosted by the Armenian Osteoporosis Association, brought together IOF member societies from 19 countries (see participant list below).

Held for the second time, the Summit has become a highly anticipated event thanks to the efforts of Dr John Bilezikian, Professor of Medicine and of Pharmacology at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Director of the Metabolic Bone Diseases Program at Columbia University Medical Centre. 

The Summit is a networking and capacity-building event for IOF member societies and other patient and medical organizations in the Eastern European and Eurasian region. It was followed by the 12th Annual International Osteoporosis Symposium in Armenia, a conference (founded by Prof. Bilezikian), which attracts speakers from America and Europe and shares the latest clinical developments with health professionals in the region.

The Summit programme included ten-minute presentations by Olga Ershova, President of OSTEORUS, Russia; Gulzhan Gabdulina, President of the Kazakhstan Association of Medical Doctors on Osteoporosis; Olga Lovanchenko, President, Kyrgyz Ass. on Osteoporosis; and Angela Chicu, President of the Ass. of Prophylaxis of Osteoporosis from Moldova. A Roundtable for all patient societies was followed by an overview of the development of country-specific FRAX models, and 10-minute presentations on the utilization of FRAX by speakers from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The development of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) worldwide was discussed in a one-hour session by speakers Olga Ershova (Russia), Edward Czerwinski (Poland) and John Bilizikian (USA). Concluding remarks were made by IOF President Philippe Halbout and Summit directors Olga Lesnyak, Varta Babalyan, and John Bilezikian.

Varta Babalyan, President of the Armenian Osteoporosis Association stated:

The Summit, the second to be initiated by John Bilezikian, is a very important event for Armenia. The focus of the summit was to unite the regional associations and it seems to have succeeded!”

Professor Bilezikian added:

The exchange of information in the field of osteoporosis is very important. Unlike the first summit, today more specialists have arrived in Armenia to introduce the activities, problems and achievements of their associations, and this is very important.”

Dr Olga Lesnyak, President of the Russian Osteoporosis Association, commented:

We find it very important to participate in this kind of event, as there is an opportunity to listen and compare. Moreover, we are neighbours, so we have the same problems, which is not accidental. Almost all countries of the former Soviet Union have a very similar healthcare system."

Dr Lesnyak expressed her appreciation of the work done by the Armenian Osteoporosis Association and added: “Armenia can serve as an example for many countries. The Armenian Osteoporosis Association carries out a lot of activities and the tremendous impact is obvious. I am sure that the participants will learn a lot from this experience.”

As honoured guest of the Summit, Dr Philippe Halbout, IOF Chief Executive Officer, emphasized IOF’s admiration and appreciation:

It is a great honour for us to participate at this Summit which is attended by leading specialists and 22 osteoporosis-related associations representing 19 countries.  The participants are here to raise awareness of the issues and problems in their countries - in which they play an invaluable role in helping to alleviate suffering and in promoting prevention and treatment for at-risk patients.  I am delighted to see the quantity and quality of the education and awareness campaigns, and the widespread use of IOF resources by the organizations in this region.”


Participating organizations
Armenian Osteoporosis Association, Russian Ass. on Osteoporosis, OSTEORUS, Kyrgyz Ass. on Osteoporosis, Georgian Ass. of Skeletal Metabolic Diseases, National Ass. of Osteoporosis (Georgia), Kazakhstan Ass. of Medical Doctors on Osteoporosis, Ass. of Prophylaxis of Osteoporosis from Moldova, Association of Osteoporosis of the Republic of Belarus, Endocrinological and Diabetes Ass. of Uzbekistan, Ukrainian Ass. of Osteoporosis, Polish Osteoarthrology Society, Czech Society for Metabolic Bone Diseases, Slovene Bone Society, Slovak Society for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease, Hungarian Society for Osteoporosis and Osteoarthrology, Lithuanian Osteoporosis Foundation, Association for Prevention of Osteoporosis in Romania, Austrian Osteoporosis Association, Iran Osteoporosis Association, National Osteoporosis Foundation (USA), and the International Osteoporosis Foundation.