It was in 1997, in South-Korea, that a group of good friends - all paediatricians
with a passion for allergy, respirology and immunology - came together and decided
to set-up The Asia Pacific Association of Pediatric Allergy, Respirology and
Immunology (APAPARI). Years later, the word "Association" was replaced
by "Academy" under the presidency of Prof. Gary Wong.
The aim of the group was to improve and contribute to clinical care, research
and education of children with allergic, respiratory and immunological disorders
in Asian countries. All were convinced that a lot of work had to be done, mainly
because at that time (and still ongoing) the prevalence of allergic diseases
and respiratory diseases were increasing worldwide, including in Asian countries.
Since then, APAPARI has come a long way, and, mainly because of the hard work
of its members, has become a well-functioning society, organising educational
workshops (14 till 2019) and yearly international congresses (joint meetings)
in Asian countries. Moreover, as an APAPARI-research Group, APAPARI has published
a number of papers in peer-reviewed international journals.
Research groups were also set-up in APAPARI, and nowadays we have four well-functioning
- On birth cohorts
- On anaphylaxis
- On food allergy and
- A Junior group planning the future of APAPARI.
All doing a good work, in a great atmosphere, and all contributing to our knowledge
which will result in better care of our Asian children.
The future of APAPARI looks good, due to the enthusiasm of its members (we
have a very active Junior-group). However, still a lot of work needs to be done
in Asian countries and still realising a substantial catch-up with our Western
friends is one of APAPARI's aims.
Undoubtedly, Asia is one of the most exciting regions in the world with disease
patterns that are variable, country-specific, and that are different from the
descriptions in the usual textbooks. Health care communities in Asia must equip
themselves to provide the best possible care for children suffering from these
disorders. One of the major tasks of APAPARI is to keep educating health care
providers on optimal care of Asian children suffering from allergic, respiratory
or immunologic diseases. Another major task of APAPARI is to support specific
research in Asian countries.
The APAPARI-website was set-up by the strong efforts of our colleagues from
Korea and is currently hosted in Hong Kong. It provides up-to-date information
about our society and activities related to our discipline from around the world.
APAPARI will continue its past efforts and engage in more regional and international
activities in the future. With collaborative efforts, our research findings
will provide important scientific data for the understanding and care of allergic,
respiratory and immunologic disorders in children in Asia, and around the world.
During my presidency from 2019 till 2021 my specific aims for APAPARI are the
- To continue our educational workshops in various Asian countries.
- To stimulate research activities, for which an APAPARI-research fund was
- To continue a close and healthy collaboration with national and international
- To come to a more structured APAPARI Board
- Finally, and not least, to keep our friendship at the highest level
If you are a paediatrician or a paediatrician in training, and you are interested
in allergy, respirology or immunology, I suggest you join APAPARI.
Finally, I am counting on all members to help making APAPARI stronger. Let
us all work hard, thereby improving health of our Asian children.
With warm regards,
Hugo Van Bever