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Vision & Background

Stone disease is the cause of significant morbidity in our society. It is estimated that approximately 12% of the population will have a renal stone at some point in their lives.

In industrialized countries, kidney stones are more common in men than in women. However, they are on the rise in women, too, who adapt the bad lifestyle habits of men rapidly.

Stone disease is a recurrent disease, and some forms of stone disease have a recurrence rate of over 80%.

The incidence of stone formation varies considerably from individual to individual, from country to country, and from continent to continent. Mechanisms are not fully understood and prophylactic advises are few and poorly tested. Stone disease is multi-factorial disease including diet, drinking habits, stress, environment, genetics and many more.

On the other hand, surgical treatment has made tremendous progress over the last 3 decades making stone therapy minimally invasive. Yet, only a successful treatment with appropriate prophylaxis will truly “heal” a stone patient as opposed to just curing temporarily prevalent symptoms.

That spurred the need for urologists, nephrologists, dieticians, scientists and researchers, as well as the industry to work together in the field. Because of the distribution of resources in science and medicine, this co-operation occurs mainly in developed countries, whereas the core of the stone problem lies in the “stone belt”, made up around the world mostly of developing nations.

An initiative was conceived and put on tracks by a visionary surgeon, Dr. Noor Buchholz, who wanted to bring this combined expertise to the doorstep of urologists in those countries which were mostly in need of it.

His global appeal found support among the top experts in stone disease in no time, from surgeons to researchers, from nephrologists to industries, and some of the brightest minds in the field immediately joined forces to build solid foundations for a socially beneficial and scientifically rewarding scheme called “Experts in Stone Disease ESD”.

The philosophy behind ESD is to be the platform for experts from the entire world, to facilitate their cooperation and networking, open new boundaries in combining old and new disease treatments with the force of accumulated expertise, educate younger colleagues and help the global community to stay ahead of the day to day changes in technology and pharmacology.

To achieve the goal of focusing more on developing and underdeveloped countries and regions, ESD will organize most of the networking, educational, research and cooperative events planned in cities located off the limits of the “Western” economies, but easily and affordably accessible to local urologists and researchers.

With that philosophy, Dr. Noor Buchholz and the pioneers who engaged on this task alongside him immediately began to process and construct the initatives that would support this vision.

The initiative created by ESD formed the basis for immediate global cooperation. It led to the Experts in Stone Disease (ESD) 1st Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13-15 December 2012, which attracted more than 400 delegates from 39 countries.

The impact to the international scientific community was spectacular and fueled the willingness of ESD to build on that good start and bring forward a series of innovative plans to achieve its main aims.

Thus, the organisation of the Experts in Stone Disease (ESD) 2nd Conference is already scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa from the 10th to the 13th of December 2014.

More than 500 participants are expected in South Africa to share views and knowledge in an international event with milestone status!

Two new initiatives of inspiring activities will be unveiled to support and strengthen the goals of the ESD initiative during the conference.

Namely, these are the Experts in Ageing Male Disease (EAMD), a new platform to bring world experts, root urologists and researchers together, and U-Merge, the Urology in Emerging Countries society that has a strong educational and practical focus to transfer expertise and knowledge in urology to emerging countries by means of educational meetings, expert visits and workshops.

Experts in Stone Disease ESD, having gained global recognition and now enjoying the cooperation of both, leading scientists and the most promising urologists in the field, will proceed with determined steps forward.