Professor Debashish Danda
MD , DM , FRCP , FACR , FAMS PROFESSOR AND FOUNDER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY & RHEUMATOLOGY , CHRISTIAN MEDICAL COLLEGE HOSPITAL VELLORE , INDIA PRESIDENT , APLAR
Dear readers ,
It is a great honour for me to present the second issue of Voice of APLAR newsletter , a quarterly publication for rheumatologists and clinicians across the Asia- Pacific region . Resonating the themes of the previous issue , we aim to unite the region sharing diverse stories and clinical research from a broad range of countries and experts to bridge cultural gaps in the rheumatology field .
As the recently appointed President of APLAR , I strive to continue strengthening the science , education and welfare of patients in all six zones of APLAR , namely Central Asia , Middle East , South
Asia , Southeast Asia , Far East , and Oceania ( Australia and New Zealand ). Although it can be challenging to obtain such goals across the regions , with the support of my team , I aim to enrich the current plan by upgrading the APLAR educational committee into an APLAR academy . I also aspire to introduce new objectives for APLAR such as initiate formation of a research foundation , strengthen the forum for the APLAR Young Rheumatologists ( AYR ), fair representation of women across the various sub-committees and include representatives from each of the six zones in the executive committee as co-opted members , especially from unrepresented zones . Above all , I believe that the newly introduced additional midterm virtual general assembly will expedite plans and decision making , as well as establish closer interactions and active engagements between APLAR member nations .
I feel that this issue is a representation of the inclusive and equitable spirit of APLAR , as it features a number of country profiles and their presence in the rheumatology sphere . We hear from the Bangladesh Rheumatology Society and their achievements in supporting millions of patients with rheumatic disease , to Iraq establishing a health registry for patients with rheumatic disease and a multispecialty clinic with a focus on Behçet ’ s disease . Despite
the development of vaccines , the Asia-Pacific region continues to be burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic . Malaysia being one of them , emphasises a consensus statement on increasing vaccination rates . Further details of APLAR ’ s response to COVID-19 , from A / Prof Rebecca Grainger , provides APLAR guidelines on telemedicine and how to adapt to the technological shift , whilst maintaining a high standard of care to patients . We provide a ‘ behind the scenes ’ insight into APLAR guideline development in an exclusive interview with Dr Matsumasa Kishimoto . Ahmad Al-Shami and Naser Al Hadhood take a closer look at Raynaud ’ s Phenomenon , in a case report from Kuwait , along with a detailed literature review . We take the time to commemorate the lifetime legacy and contributions of Professor Feng Pao Hsii , one of the past presidents of APLAR ( 1996-1998 ) and a prominent researcher in Systemic Lupus . Finally , this instalment highlights several review articles on the latest clinical findings with the inappropriate use of muscle relaxants in back pain , pregnancy in psoriatic arthritis and the risk of joint replacement when taking warfarin .
I am grateful for the support of my colleagues , the inspiring next generation of young rheumatologists , and you , the readers . I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I do , and we look forward to your feedback .
Higher specialty training in Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at SGPGIMS , Lucknow
2001 – 2004 Advanced trainee in Rheumatology ( Royal Adelaide hospital )
2010 – 2011 Senior training fellowship ( MGH , Boston )
Organizing Secretary , IRACON 2011 at Vellore with State Health Minister , Prof Jim O ’ Dell ( then President , ACR ) and CMC Director as guests of honour
2013 – 2014 Greenberg research scholar in Autoimmunity of Sjogren Syndrome
Linnaeus-Palme exchange teacher , Karolinska University Hospital , Department of Rheumatology , Sweden
2013 – 2018 International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases , Editor-in-chief
Conferred Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences , India
2017 – 2019 President of Indian Rheumatology Association
Excellence in CME Award , Honor from Chief Minister of Tripura
2021 President of APLAR