What is Congress Legacy

Congress Legacy is defined as the positive, long-term contribution that international conventions are leaving behind for the benefit of the association, its community, the host destination and society at large.

IHPBA’s Commitment to Congress Legacy

During the New York meeting in 2022, IHPBA held a strategic planning session which focused on the legacy of our international congresses.  The biennial international congresses offer unrivalled opportunities to catch up on all that is important in HPB practice and rightfully represent a highlight in the calendar.  The strategic planning group agreed that it was important to build on the interest generated by congress.

The Association has now made a commitment to effect meaningful and long-lasting change which reflects IHPBA’s vision, mission and goals in the regions or continents where congresses are hosted.

IHPBA 2024 – Congress Legacy Initiative

For the 2024 World Congress, the legacy initiative will focus on the improvement of management pathways and access to care in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

Why are we focusing HCC?

Primary liver cancer disease has particularly devastating consequences in SSA. The predominating risk factors which included chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, often acquired at birth and aflatoxin exposure (a toxin that is produced by fungi that contaminate agricultural crops such as maize and peanuts, are different from the rest of the world. In high income countries where primary liver cancer typically occurs in more elderly people, 40% of patients will be treated with curative intent, and approximately 70% will be alive at 5 years. In SSA, primary liver cancer is more commonly diagnosed in younger people, as early as in their twenties and is the second and third leading cancer in men and women respectively. Being one of the deadliest cancer forms, 36 592 of an estimated 38 629 patients on the sub- continent who were diagnosed with HCC in 2020 died. Most patients will survive less than 2.5 months. In less than 1% of patients curative treatment will be offered.

2024 Legacy Project Activities and Outcomes

The legacy project planning has been split into three tracks.

Clinical Track

The Clinical track is led by Professor Eduard Jonas and the team have developed a number of events  which will run in parallel to the main IHPBA World Congress programme.  With lessons learnt from engaging previous health care catastrophes on the continent, such as the HIV pandemic, a broad-based approach is needed.  The Liver cancer Legacy program will be running within and parallel to the six IHPBA parallel sessions for the full duration of the congress. 

The whole multidisciplinary spectrum of HCC will be addressed in the meeting, from management of risk factors, screening and surveillance through to palliative care. In summary the parallel sessions include:

• African Viral Hepatitis Convention (three days)

• Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in sub-Saharan Africa (one day)

• Palliative care symposium (one day)

• Pathology masterclass (one day)

• HPBridge unit pairing project (half day)

• Industry partner programme (session)

Advocacy Track

The advocacy team is led by Professor Martin Smith.This involves the engagement of role players on all levels of engagement, including patient interest groups/advocacy groups, other associations and societies, SSA healthcare authorities and international healthcare authorities.

Secondly a White paper is being prepared which will detail the extent of the problem, propose possible solutions and detail and propose long-term actions to ensure a lasting Legacy. The plan is to get this document endorsed by the key role players as detailed above. The White paper will be published either as a complete document or as a series of smaller articles in hopefully more than one journal.

The resulting output will provide a blueprint for the implementation of this HCC legacy action plan.

Industry Track

Recognizing the invaluable and crucial role our industry partners play in the development and provision of HPB-related healthcare an Industry session in the official IHPBA program is planned. The industry track is being led by Xander Hamilton of Boston Scientific and representatives of the IHPBA council. The group has been tasked to put together the session that will be dedicated to the development of sustainable industry engagement in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with special reference to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The session will focus on the obstacles to sustainable industry engagement in SSA and explore avenues that can be pursued to improve the current unsatisfactory situation we face on the subcontinent. 

2024 Legacy Partners

We fully recognize that this initiative will not succeed without the involvement of our partners and most importantly the engagement of health care authorities on the continent. Our goal is to with a combined initiative by all parties involved create a lasting Legacy that will facilitate improving the lives of patients suffering from one of the most devastating diseases on the continent. 

Ongoing Commitment

The baton for the ‘HCC in SSA legacy project will be handed to E-AHPBA to continue the efforts in their region, as IHPBA’s focus will shift to the next world Congress in Singapore 2026.

IHPBA 2026 Singapore Legacy Project

HCC is also a significant problem in many Asian countries, and it has been agreed that the HCC legacy theme will be continued for the Singapore Congress in 2026, there will also be a focus on ethical aspects of living donor transplant.

Presentation of Legacy Declaration
11.00 – 11.30
Saturday 18th May 2024

The 2024 IHPBA congress is unique in that a Legacy Initiative addressing viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which represent a major public health burden in Africa is a integrated in the meeting. It is important that Africa, which has one of the greatest burdens of viral liver disease, responds to the 2016 WHO call for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat, by 2030. This cannot be achieved without further capacity and infrastructure development on our continent, but also acknowledging patients’ lived experience and challenges with viral hepatitis and HCC. The meeting covers the entire spectrum of disease management that includes prevention, diagnostics and therapeutics, but importantly, also palliative care that forms a crucial, often neglected component of care not only for patients, but also for their families.

The combined meeting of the IHPBA, the African Viral Hepatitis Convention and the African Palliative Care Association will bring together an international network of surgeons, hepatologists, gastroenterologists, infectious disease specialists, palliative care specialists, allied health care professionals and patient advocacy groups. The integral role that Industry plays as a partner in achieving viral hepatitis elimination, and optimizing HCC prevention and treatment is also recognized.

At the Ceremony, the Legacy Declaration will be delivered and endorsed by the participating societies and associations, as well as partnering societies and associations and invited dignitaries.