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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 workgroups:

  1. On birth cohorts
  2. On anaphylaxis
  3. On food allergy and
  4. 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 following:

  1. To continue our educational workshops in various Asian countries.
  2. To stimulate research activities, for which an APAPARI-research fund was created.
  3. To continue a close and healthy collaboration with national and international societies, worldwide
  4. To come to a more structured APAPARI Board
  5. 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
March 2020


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