Greetings from the secretary’s desk to all the members. I congratulate you all for the new and revamped website of the Indian Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ISPGHAN). Ours is a young, growing society with ~230 members, including residents in GI fellowship programs as well as paediatricians with an interest in the speciality. The need for having an interactive website has been felt by all of us for a while, but it is only with the hard work of Dr Vishnu Biradar, Dr Rajeev Khanna and Dr Srinivas that this is taking shape. This is only the first step and further refinement will need the support and contribution of all the members of the society.
At present 6 centres are providing fellowship training in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology under the aegis of the ISPGHAN. Of these, 2 were added last year. Four candidates completed the training and passed fellowship examination in the academic year 2017-18 and 6 candidates will be appearing for the examination in August this year. This is addition to the DM Pediatric Gastroenterology, DM Hepatology and PDCC Pediatric Gastroenterology/Pediatric Hepatology courses being run by institutions like SGPGIMS, Lucknow, PGIMER Chandigarh and ILBS, New Delhi. Thus, we are constantly growing in numbers. This constant expansion will not only help to fulfil the growing demand for well-trained super-specialised doctors but also help in furthering the cause of the ISPGHAN. The society is contributing to spreading knowledge in the speciality by holding various meetings including the annual meeting.... Last year a total of 8 such meetings were held, spread all over the country, with the annual meeting being held at Mumbai. The annual meeting this year is scheduled to be held at Chennai in October 2019. ISPGHAN members are now participating and presenting their work regularly in international meetings. We have a good bonding with the adult colleagues which is evident by the various sessions in paediatric GI and hepatology in INASL and ISG meetings.
The society has also started “Pediatric Gut and Liver e Journal”, the official quarterly e-journal of ISPGHAN with the hard work of the editorial team of Drs Shirish Bhatnagar, Rajeev Khanna, Yogesh Waikar and Rishi Bolia. The first issue was released in April 2019 and the next issue is in progress. This journal will give an opportunity to our members to publish their work and also the trainees to learn scientific writing. This initiative will need the constant support and contribution by all members for sustenance and growth.
The society awards Mehta Mittal Shankarnarayanan Oration every year to a senior member of the society which was awarded to Dr Seema Alam last year. Similarly, Dr C P Mittal award is given to a junior member/trainee every year for the best paper presented during the annual meeting. Apart from this various plenary paper and poster awards are also given to the presenters at the annual conference.
The society has embarked on formulating and publishing consensus guidelines for important diseases with special emphasis on management in the Indian context. Two guidelines on constipation and Wilson’s disease were published recently, a third one on special dietary formulations has been submitted and another one on Cow’s milk protein allergy is being drafted. We have just completed collecting data for the first multicentric project on IBD in children.
We have close ties with both the central IAP as well as various state IAP chapters. This goes a long way in transferring knowledge to our paediatrician colleagues and improving the care of our children by creating awareness and timely referrals. The Celiac Society, has been working with ICMR and Govt of India to formulate policies for improved care of children with Celiac disease.
In summary, this website will help us in furthering all the activities that we are undertaking now. We expect that the website will become a resource of information related to various clinical problems, research activities, meetings, training courses, awards etc. for all our members including trainees
Although the starting team has done its work to launch the website in its new avatar, we have been receiving constant help and guidance from other members as well and I am grateful to all the members for their constant help for the causes of the society. In the end, I would like to seek your support for the continuous growth of the society in various arenas in the coming years. Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. Thanks once again.