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MESSAGE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1

Message from the secretary general, asian pediatric nephrology association


Secretary General, Asian Pediatric Nephrology Association

Date of Web Publication28-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Hui-Kim Yap
Professor and Head, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Department of Paediatrics, Shaw-NKF-NUH Children's Kidney Center and NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AJPN.AJPN_19_18

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How to cite this article:
Yap HK. Message from the secretary general, asian pediatric nephrology association. Asian J Pediatr Nephrol 2018;1:1

How to cite this URL:
Yap HK. Message from the secretary general, asian pediatric nephrology association. Asian J Pediatr Nephrol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Nov 18];1:1. Available from: http://www.ajpn-online.org/text.asp?2018/1/1/1/235474



Asia is the largest continent in the world with an estimated population of 4.4 billion and the world's most populous countries, China and India, as its integral parts. Approximately 1.4 billion (34%) are in the pediatric age group (<19 years old). Unfortunately, there is a wide disparity in per capita national incomes among various Asian countries, resulting in rather heterogeneous delivery of healthcare across the continent. In the low-income countries, there is a severe shortage of nephrologists and hospitals offering dialysis and transplantation for adults. This lack of trained renal specialists is even more pronounced in Pediatrics, where the ratio of trained pediatricians to patients under the age of 19 years is even worse in the emerging economies; only one trained pediatric nephrologist is available for up to 2.6 million children.

Over the past decade, chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been recognized as a major public health problem threatening to reach epidemic proportions. The increase in its global incidence and prevalence has resulted in a large burden for healthcare systems. CKD was ranked 27th in the list of causes of global deaths in 1990 with an age-standardized annual death rate of 15·7/100,000 population. Over the past two decades, CKD has risen in ranking to 18th in 2010, and 12th in 2015, accounting for 1.1 million deaths worldwide. Overall, mortality linked to CKD has increased by 32% over the last decade, making it one of the fastest rising major causes of death, alongside diabetes and dementia. Unfortunately, many emerging countries in Asia today lack facilities for chronic dialysis in children. Because of resource constraints and lack of trained personnel, children are still being dialyzed in adult units. Moreover, transplantation is also limited in these countries, related both to lack of expertise and cost of continuing immunosuppressive drugs and monitoring of these patients.

To address some of these challenges in Asia, the first Working Group for Pediatric Nephrology in Asia was formed in 1986, and the first scientific meeting addressing the “Epidemiology and Treatment of Renal Diseases in Asian Countries” was held in Tokyo, Japan, in 1988. The Asian Pediatric Nephrology Association (AsPNA) was subsequently officially inaugurated in 1996 with members from 10 Asian countries or regions. Since then, the AsPNA has grown to include 24 member countries and states in 2018. Its mission is to promote the science and art of pediatric nephrology in Asia, maintain the highest level of professional skills and ethics in the practice of the subspecialty, foster regional camaraderie and cooperation among member nations, and represent Asian pediatric nephrology in the International Pediatric Nephrology Association (IPNA) and other international/regional nephrology endeavors.

To meet the ongoing challenges in this region, the training of young doctors caring for children with kidney diseases is a priority for AsPNA and IPNA. To this end, IPNA has sponsored more than 100 fellowships for young doctors from Asia since 2003. In addition, there are at least 10 training centers within Asia with the explicit aim of training the fellows from emerging countries within the same cultural context and practice patterns as their home country. To complement the fellowship program, there has also been a proliferation of training courses in underserved areas over the last decade in Asia.

Ensuring that doctors have access to educational resources is another important avenue to bridge the gap in knowledge and practice of pediatric nephrology among the various regions in Asia. The launch of the Asian Journal of Pediatric Nephrology this month is another big step in this direction, providing a platform not only for educational review articles but also for original research articles addressing problems that may be unique to this region. With the support of the strong international editorial board, I am sure that the Journal will grow from strength to strength.






 

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