The first congress of the Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales en Esterilización (AMPE) also was the fourth Pan American congress on sterilization. It was organized in the ‘centro historico’ of Mexico City and was held from 5 to 7 October 2006. Mtra. Enfra. Maria de Lourdes Melendez Sotelo, chairperson of the society, and her team could welcome more then 1200 participants to their maiden event. It was a huge undertaking for a society, which was founded not even one year ago. Nevertheless they did a marvellous job as all the participants from almost all Latin American countries will undoubtedly confirm.
In the plenary sessions a wide range of topics from quality indicators and event related sterility to traceability were explored. In working groups and in parallel sessions amongst others packaging systems and the use of peracetic acid were discussed in depth. It was remarkable that, in contrast to most European congresses, the interest of the participants did not wane. They all stayed till the very end, Saturday afternoon.
Wim Renders, chairman of the WFHSS, was given the honour to close the congress.
He appealed to all the participants to critically evaluate all information which was provided in the different papers.
They have to keep in mind that also in sterilization departments prevention is better than cure and that processes and process controls should not be maximized but optimized.
Very important too for Latin America was the decision taken at the congress to set up a Pan American sterilization association. Patricia Guttierez from Chile was chosen as its first chairperson.
It was also agreed that the next Pan American congress will take place in Brazil in 2008.