History of Paediatric Section of Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association

In 1985, a few members of Western Pacific Orthopaedic Association (WPOA) met in Bangkok and decided to form a subspecialty section dedicated to the development and propagation of paediatric Orthopaedic surgery (Table I). A protem committee headed by Dr Thamrongrat Keokarn from Thailand as chairman, Dr Louis C S Hsu from Hong Kong as vice chairman and Dr Chaithavat Ngarmukos also from Thailand as secretary-treasurer was formed to prepare the groundwork for an inaugural meeting. On the 4th Nov 1987, the Paediatric section of WPOA was inaugurated in Chiang Mai. The key officers of the protem committee were re-elected as the chairman, vice chairman and secretary-treasurer during the first board meeting. The second Board meeting was held in 1989 (during the main WPOA meeting in Singapore) and the constitution of the Paediatric section was discussed and officially adopted. The constitution stated that a regular board meeting will be held every two years during the main congress of WPOA, and special a board meeting can be organised by the Board provided adequate notice is provided. Every member country will have 2 representatives in the board.

In 1991, the first combined Spine and Paeds section of WPOA was organised in Seoul, Korea, where the 3rd board meeting was held. Dr In Young Ok took over the chairmanship of the section during the 4th board meeting in Jakarta the following year. He reported that the organizing committee of the first combined meeting with the spine section generated surplus of USD 2000 and the sum will be donated to the Paediatric section. Dr Lee Eng Hin who was then the secretary-treasurer opened an account for the Paediatric section in Singapore. Subsequent elections of the Board leaders were conducted once every three years, during regular Board meetings in conjunction with the main congress of WPOA. (Table II)

In 1994, the Paediatric section of WPOA applied to Paediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) to be an alliance member. Members of an alliance society will be able to participate in the events organised by POSNA. The application was accepted by POSNA at the annual meeting in Phoenix in 1996. In 1998, the Board applied to International federation of Paediatric Orthopaedic Societies (IFPOS) to represent Western Pacific region in this organization, and this was also subsequently accepted. When WPOA was reorganised in 2000 to become the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (APOA), the geographical coverage of this section extended to include many more countries including India and China (Figure 1a, b)). Clinical and scientific contributions from Asia Pacific region became important and relevant since more than half of the world population resides in this region. In 2007, Journal of Children Orthopaedics (JCO) invited Paediatric section of APOA to be affiliated with the journal and encouraged our members to submit papers to this journal. In 2010, chief editor of Journal of Paediatric Orthopaedics (JPO) Dr Ashok Johari invited our members to also submit papers to this journal. In the same year, Paediatric section of APOA participated in organising of APOA / POSNA annual congress in Hawaii, USA. Our section chairman Dr In Ho Choi and APOA president Dr PQ Chen lead a team of close to 100 members from various parts of Asia Pacific region to Waikaloa, Hawaii. The event was both educational and enjoyable (Figure 2a, b). We hope that we can reciprocate the hospitality when the team of POSNA members headed by the president Dr John Flynn attended the combined congress in Kuching this year.

In the year 2008, the first Paediatric Orthopaedic travelling fellowship were organised with the support of the education committee of APOA. Three junior Orthopaedic surgeons from Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia visited a few medical centres in Seoul and Fukuoka for a duration of about 2 to 3 weeks. They finished their travelling at the 7th combined Spine and Paediatric section congress in Jeju, Korea (Figure 3) The second fellowship was organised 2 years later with 3 fellows visiting medical centres in Kaoshiung, Nagoya and participating in the 8th combined Spine and Paediatric section congress in Gifu, Japan (Figure 4). The third travelling fellowship involves visiting many established medical centres across India ending with the 50th Golden anniversary congress in New Delhi. Feedbacks from the fellows were very positive, and we hope that the program can be organised at a yearly basis. In the coming 9th combined congress in Kuching, Malaysia, for the first time there will be 4 travelling fellows visiting 3 countries.

Since the main APOA will be held every alternate year starting 2012, the board of Paediatric section amended the constitution during the 19th board meeting in New Delhi, India to allow elections of office bearers to be held once every to years. Regular Board meetings will be held during the combined Spine and Paediatric section congress. It has been noted that attendance of Board meetings during the combined Spine and Paediatric congress were generally better than that of the main APOA congress. It is hoped that major decisions and election of main office bearers can be made with good representation of our members.

With establishment of new clinical subspecialties in Orthopaedics, and advancement in telecommunication facilities, challenges faced by the organization have changes considerably. For the organization to uphold its objectives and remain relevant, we must be able to identify specific problems that hinder our progress, and be willing to accept solutions that may come with changes in various aspects of the organization. A list of active members of the Paediatric section is essential to ensure that who are keen and willing to contribute towards the goal of the organization will be recognised represented. In March 2011, Dr In Ho Choi and Dr Saw Aik have signed have signed a new agreement of alliance with POSNA. It will be difficult for the board to support a potential member from the section to participate in POSNA, IFPOS or other organizations unless we have an up to date list of our members. Regular feedback from the main APOA secretariat on membership status and part time secretarial support for the board may be the solution for the organization to move forward (Figure 5)

Table I : Founding members of the Paediatric section of WPOA in Bangkok (1985).

  1. Jimmy S Daruwalla, Singapore
  2. Louis C S Hsu, Hong Kong
  3. Katuro Iwasaki, Japan
  4. Thamrongrat Keokarn, Thailand
  5. Eng Hin Lee, Singapore
  6. John Leong, Hong Kong
  7. M S Moon, Korea
  8. Chaithavat Ngarmukos, Thailand
  9. In-Young Ok, Korea
  10. Shier Chieg Huang, Taiwan
  11. M Sivananthan, Malaysia

Table II : List of board meetings and key board officers

Year Board Meeting WPOA / APOA Main Congress Combined Congress with Spine Chairman Vice Chairman Secretary Treasurer
1985 0 8th Bangkok, Thailand - Thamrongrat Keokarn Louis C S Hsu Chaithavat Ngarmukos
1987 1 Chiang Mai, Thailand (Inaugural meeting) - Thamrongrat Keokarn Louis C S Hsu Chaithavat Ngarmukos
1989 2 9th Singapore - Louis C S Hsu Jimmy Daruwalla In-Young Ok
1991 3 - 1st Seoul, Korea - - -
1992 4 10th Jakarta, Indonesia - In-Young Ok Shier-Chieg Huang Eng Hin Lee
1994 5 - 2nd Taiwan - - -
1995 6 11th Hong Kong - Chiaki Hamanishi Ian Torode Aziz Nather
1996 7 - 3rd Kochi, Japan - - -
1998 8 12th Fukuoka, Japan - Eng Hin Lee Ian Torode Jack CY Cheng
1999 9 - 4th Pattaya, Thailand - - -
2000 10 13th Adelaide, Australia - Ian Torode - Toshio Fujii
2002 11 - 5th Singapore Uncertain - Uncertain
2004 12 14th Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Toshio Fujii X Mark Lin
2005 13 - 6th Taipei - - -
2007 14 15th Seoul, Korea - In Ho Choi X Saw Aik
2008 15 - 7th Jeju, Korea - Kamegaya -
2010 16 16th Taipei, Taiwan - Kamegaya Mark Lin Saw Aik
2011 17 - 8th Gifu, Japan - - -
2012 18 17th New Delhi, India - Kamegaya Mark Lin Saw Aik
2013 19 - 9th Kuching, Malaysia - - -

Main WPOA congress in Fukuoka (1998)Main WPOA congress in Fukuoka (1998)

Main APOA congress in Kuala Lumpur (2004)Main APOA congress in Kuala Lumpur (2004)

APOA team leaders with POSNA president in Hawaii (2010)APOA team leaders with POSNA president in Hawaii (2010)

Chairman presenting souvenir to POSNA counterpart in Hawaii (2010)Chairman presenting souvenir to POSNA counterpart in Hawaii (2010)

Combined Meeting in Jeju, Korea (2008)Combined Meeting in Jeju, Korea (2008)

Chairman with travelling fellows in Gifu, Japan (2010)Chairman with travelling fellows in Gifu, Japan (2010)

Current Board vice chairman, chairman and secretary-treasurerCurrent Board vice chairman, chairman and secretary-treasurer