My Journey with Infectious Diseases Chapter............
Dr Raju shah
Chairman, ID Chapter(2002-03)
In early 1990’s pediatricians all over country were sensitized about Infectious diseases and Immunization through workshops organized by Immunization committee of IAP. IAP Executive board had selected me as central coordinator for this job. I was also Hon Secretary of Immunization committee from 1988 onwards. This job in IAP initiated me in to Infectious diseases.
1988 onwards many a time proposal of starting Infectious disease chapter of IAP was put forward in Executive board, twice by me, but were rejected as Immunization committee was taking care of the need of the members. During these years there were reemergence of many infectious diseases as well as emergence of about 30 new infectious diseases. WHO also declared the theme of year 1996 related to ‘Emergence and reemergence of Infectious diseases’. Many newer vaccines were available and routinely used in western world changing the epidemiology in that part of world. So in 1996 executive board accepted the proposal of allowing to start ID chapter. IAP general body in 1997 annual conference at Ahmedabad also accepted the said proposal proposed by Dr PS Patil of Aurangabad. Dr Jacob John was selected as Adhoc Chairman and me as adhoc secretary of the proposed chapter. That was the ‘D’ day of the chapter – Infectious disease Chapter of IAP was born. We called a meeting of pediatricians interested in infectious diseases at the same venue; about 45 to 50 members attended the meeting, about 30 members joined as members of the chapter.
During year 1997, we prepared draft constitution and enrolled few more members. We planned our first national CME during IAP national conference at Kochi. It was a grand success. We enrolled close to 100 members and elected First executive board of the chapter. Dr Jacob John readily agreed to continue as Chairman of the chapter and myself as Secretary of the chapter. This was the official beginning of the chapter.
In the first year only we planned the 1st national conference of the chapter. Friends from Kolkatta under leadership of Dr Tapan Kr Ghosh accepted the responsibility of hosting the conference in month of May 1998. It was a grand success and was attended by more than 400 delegates. We could enroll about 60 more members in the chapter. From 1998 to 2002 we continued having National conferences and also CME or Meet the Experts session at annual conferences of IAP. We continued enrolling members and reached to strength of 400.
During these years of chapter’s infancy we had so many teething troubles. Finance was one of the biggest problems and second big was getting enthusiastic and academically oriented members to work for the chapter. Chapter and in turn myself was lucky to get a group of about 20 enthusiastic, academically stout and ever helping members who helped the chapter grow in leaps and bounce in the right direction.
In year 2002 members of the chapter unanimously requested me to take over as Chairman and Dr Tapan Kr Ghosh as the Secretary of the chapter. We also had excellent team of executive members who wear willing to increase the span of the activities of the chapter. We started organizing National CMEs, over above annual national conferences every year. All the conferences and CMEs were always very largely attended. We started ‘Infectious diseases chapter bulletin’ and also organized Zonal and state level CMEs. We also formed protocols for common infectious diseases. All these activities helped us to increase our membership strength to more than 750, making us the third largest chapter of IAP. I must admit that during my tenure in office Dr Tapan Kr Ghosh worked as very close associate and extended very solid support. In year 2004 my friend and an academician Dr Ashok Kapse of Surat took over as Chairman of the chapter from me.
In my journey with this chapter I was lucky to get so many friends who have not only helped the chapter but also me in person to grow in the IAP. Forming the chapter, observing it to bloom into most active and most attended chapter and participating in all the activities were the most cherishable moments of my life. I extend best wishes to the office bearers of the chapter on completion of 10 years and sure that this chapter will achieve all the glories in the coming years.