Welcome to the APLAR website, and the portal of the International
Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Dear Colleagues, Friends of APLAR,
I am honoured to be
able to serve as APLAR President 2014-2016, and look forward to collaborating
with our member Associations and their members as we jointly strive to improve
the quality of life of the millions of patients with rheumatic disease who live
within our region.
APLAR’s 50th birthday, we are proud to look back over the last half
century and identify those achievements that would not have occurred without
APLAR. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the future role of APLAR, so that
our future clinicians will similarly be able to reflect on what would not have
been without APLAR.
My Executive and I wish to reconcile the needs of members and also
the opportunities offered by members to plan a pathway for the future
Creates and fosters clinical and research
Provides leadership in delivering
musculoskeletal healthcare in resource limited
Strengthens the International Journal of Rheumatic Disease and our
and Clinical Congress as vehicles for the transfer of
knowledge developed within APLAR, and
Assists in the placing of Musculoskeletal Diseases within the Top Ten
Health Priorities of individual countries.
The burden of musculoskeletal disease within the APLAR region is
immense and will not remit in the foreseeable future. Regrettably, the disparity
between the rheumatology healthcare supply and demand is extreme in most
countries and cannot be solved by APLAR. We can however facilitate through
expansion of our fellowship programme high standard training in clinical and
research skills for our members. Their subsequent usage of these skills both
confirms rheumatology as a discipline that improves quality of life, and most
importantly provides the conduit for raising the level
skill amongst nurses and primary care doctors who care for the greatest
population in our APLAR region.
Our trainees in Rheumatology are our best advertisement for the
future of our discipline!
All regional Leagues for Rheumatology face the dilemma of delivery of
health care with limited resources and collaboration between us will allow the
delivery of brief educational interventions to achieve dissemination of basic
care standards in rheumatology. The strength of Medical Education within APLAR
needs to be utilised, and combined with technology to foster e-education
resources to support local training initiatives. Liaison between industry and
our regional Associations in delivering programmes that integrate local
clinicians as ongoing tutors will be a key to sustainability.
In conjunction with the Editor-in-Chief, we must continue to enhance
the role of the International Journal of Rheumatic Disease, and its globally
inclusive focus on Rheumatology. Opportunities to develop skills in review and
editorial processes will need to expand, and we should provide greater practical
assistance to new contributors in manuscript preparation. Research mentorship
needs to be nurtured so as to bring new researchers into contact with
experienced researchers early in project design to enhance funding success.
Critical to our
patients will be our uniting with fellow interest groups under a common banner
of musculoskeletal disease to raise its priority with governments and health
departments. COPCORD, Bone and Joint Decade, and the Global Burden of Disease
provide us with the real facts demonstrating the personal, social, and economic
Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease in our
communities. We need to bring this information to the forefront of government
officials involved in resource planning!
In closing, please
welcome the 2014-2016 APLAR Executive, whose leadership will bring about the
progress that is planned by APLAR.
President Elect Prof Kazuhiko Yamamoto
Past President Prof Zhanguo Li
Vice President Prof LS Tam
Vice President Prof Debashish Danda
Treasurer Prof Syed Atiqul Haq
Secretary General Prof Worawit Louthrenoo
General Prof Wen-Chan Tsai
Sincerely, and with
Professor Kevin Pile