Report by: Ravi Thevasagayam, Consultant, Sheffield Children’s Hospital
The 7th Asia Pacific Paediatric Otolaryngology Group (APOG) Conference took place in the amazing city of Bangkok on the 10 – 11 October. This group brings together clinicians in the Asia Pacific region every two years. It was founded in 2007 in Manila with founding members from seven Asian countries. It has been to Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Beijing.
Dr Nuntigar Sonsuwan hosted the meeting in Bangkok with contributions from all the member countries. The stunning opening ceremony was kicked off with wonderful traditional Thai dancing. There were also lots of invited speakers from outside the APOG countries. It was great to see and hear from two iconic women in ENT, Margaretha Casselbrant and Dana Thompson, from the USA, sharing a lifetimes experience about otitis media and the supraglottis respectively.
I enjoyed all the talks especially impressive considering how many non-native English speakers were speaking in that language. I was particularly interested in the talks about the effect of the facial skeleton on obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and rapid maxillary expansion. There was also interesting stuff about drug induced sleep endoscopy (DISE) from Sanjay Parikh, USA.
Overall Dr Nuntigar’s organisation was wonderful. I was blown away by the hospitality and the humility and kindness shown by everybody especially our Thai hosts. The food was delicious at the meeting and of course in Thailand in general. There was a lovely warmth and friendship amongst all the faculty and delegates. Also, brilliant to see so many trainees in attendance. It was great to see so many clinicians so committed to improving care for children. Paediatric ENT is alive and well, thriving and innovating in the region.
Coming to a meeting like this is a brilliant way to see a new country, learn some ENT and make friends. I made lots of new friends and am looking forward to meeting them again in the future. Further meetings will be held in Japan, Korea, Australia and the Philippines. The next meeting will be held in Ho-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam in 2021. You could do a lot worse than to put that in your diary and experience that fabulous country!