Indian Pediatrics 2001; 38: 231-233
XVIII National Conference of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, February 8, 2001
Dear Fellow Academicians,
First of all I wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Millennium Year.
On my personal behalf and on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 38th National Conference of Indian Academy of Pediatrics. I welcome you all to this historic and ancient city of Patna (Patliputra).
I would like to thank you all for electing me as your President for this year. I succeed our worthy Predecessors. I assure you that I will try my best to live up to your expectations and devote full time to fulfil my commitment. My hearty congratulations to Dr. Dilip Mukherjee for being elected as President Elect - IAP and to all Executive Committee members for the year 2001. I look forward to their working as a team for the IAP along with Hon. General Secretary and Treasurer.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics has made rapid advances in these 38 years. The first President of IAP was Prof. Lala Prasad who hails from this city and is a legendary figure. I offer my tributes to him. He is an example to be followed by all of us. I have seen the development of IAP since its inception. The amalgamation of two associations took place in my city of Hyderabad where late Dr. Harish Chandra had pivotal role to play in the birth of our IAP. I offer my tributes to late Dr. Harish Chandra who guided me throughout my career and was a doyen amongst Pediatricians.
I would like to avail this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Swati Bhave, Immediate Past President for involving me in all IAP activities during year 2000 as President Elect. It sounds to me that I am not new to this post as she had developed a system where the President works with President Elect. It shall be my endeavor also to work with Past President and President Elect so that continuity is maintained for all IAP Programs for years to come.
IAP has done considerably well in various spheres and all branches have participated in its programs. During the year 2000 Adolescent Health had been a major thrust as this segment of the population was not taken care of by Pediatricians and they were more or less in a "no mans land". A good beginning has been made and I hope we will continue looking after them in future. IAP needs to have legislation from government to include this segment of the population in Pediatric care and we would like to look after them till the age of 18 years.
IAP joined hands with Government of India and International agencies for Polio eradication. National Task Force recom-mendations were presented to Government of India and WHO. Major recommendations were accepted like 2, 3 and 4 doses of OPV in different zones instead of 6 rounds of Pulse Polio, Dr. Swati Bhave, Hon’ble Gen. Secretary, Dr. Hathi and Dr. Naveen Thacker and myself participated in Polio eradication meeting in the states of Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Delhi where wild virus of Polio was still found. We met the political leaders and Government officials and got their commitment to eradicate polio. Also, due emphasis was laid upon routine immunization services including measles. Urban Polio eradication meetings were held in 5 major cities of India. IPV will be introduced for states like Kerala where no cases of Polio have been reported for 3½ years and also for the immune-compromised.
I along with the Executive Committee Members and you all, need to look into grey areas of our "Child Care". This year my major thrust will be on AIDS in children. We have formed a care group, a National Task force and it will percolate down to all IAP Branches. We will join NACO, UNICEF and other agencies and look into various aspects of AIDS and offer our professional help. As you know in coming years, AIDS will become one of the major killers in our country.
A beginning has been made for "Child At Risk Program" and "Street Children". In the coming years we all need to concentrate on this neglected and underprivileged segment of the population. IAP was involved in the National Population Policy of our Government along with FOGSI and other agencies.
"Academy Today" is the mouth organ of IAP so please go through it and participate in all the activities. Observe the important days like Teenage Day, Breast Feeding Week, World Immunization Day, IAP Week Celebrations and World AIDS Day, etc. "Indian Pediatrics" and IJPP are our journals which need good and standard contributions from all of us. ORS Programs with the help of "PATH" will continue in this year as Diarrhea is still a major problem.
The Federation of Asian Pediatric and Child Nutrition (APCN) has been formed with 10 countries. I am signatory to this Federation at Chiang Mai, Thailand. Other countries will also join. We need to work together for problems of Child Nutrition, which is so relevant to our country. Information Technology and globalization is the order of the day and it is going to be a main part of Pediatric practice in future. I request all members to enroll more Pediatricians as IAP members so that we become a stronger body with one voice for children of India. Each one can get one.
Our motto has to be service and not just occupying positions in the Academy. Voluntary service should be the essence. Action is needed rather than just plans on paper to fulfil our tasks.
Disputes, grievances and misunder-standings are bound to be there in a large organization like ours and they have to be solved through dialogue.
While giving health message through media to the parents and children, I would like you to give the standard IAP Guidelines rather than one’s own individual opinion so that no confusion is created in the minds of people.
A "Think Tank of IAP" has been formed for planning and implementation of the IAP educational, health and organizational programs.
The Medical Council of India has made Pediatrics as a major subject with a separate examination and so we need to make it universal in all Universities. I would like IAP to be a recommendatory body for Government of India, Medical Council of India, Drug Controller and all International Organizations regarding Child Welfare.
I have great pleasure in informing you all that the American Academy of Pediatrics has invited IAP to their next Annual Meet at San Francisco and has offered IAP one full day Scientific Program on 19th October, 2001. I do hope our members will join this year for the AAP Meeting. I request the British Pediatric Association also for a similar collaboration.
We have made a beginning for PROS (Pediatric Research in Office Setting). Practising Pediatricians of our country can participate in this program and give all of us their feedback. I have plans to develop a "Disaster Group" that will be available for advice during natural calamities. We need to stress on the girl child, child labor, neglected and underprivileged segment of our popula-tion. We have to participate in the reduction of IMR and also work with NNF for reduction of neonatal mortality. I solicit active parti-cipation of our Chapters, to the Academy guidelines for treatment of different diseases. The various committees of IAP need to work together and guide the IAP. We have several small branches of IAP and they have to be brought into the mainstream. I plan to have a 3 day meet in each State where we can meet and discuss regional problems and also update on emergency services and other IAP programs. Parent Education, Health Meals and Teenage Clinics have to be started in an earnest manner. The IAP Education Cell is revising the curriculum for Pediatric Education.
So my plea to all members will be to strenghthen this professional organization and work together like a family and bring IAP to a higher platform. It will be like a dream come true for me having worked for child Health for 4 decades of my life. So fulfil all the tasks and commitments for the little hearts and set an example for years to come.