Ground work - our pioneers
When paediatrics started as a specialty in Hong Kong in the 60s, Dr. TSAO Yen Chow at the Univerisity of Hong Kong was the first who got involved in the work of kidney diseases in children. He studied renal biopsies with the late pathologist Dr. CHAN Woon Cheong, trying to understand childhood glomerular diseases. An electron microscope was donated by the Jockey Club at that time, which greatly helped the interpretation of renal pathology. In the 70s, acute peritoneal dialysis was started, and in the 80s CAPD was successfully implemented in children. There were paediatricians like Dr. Edwin YU Chau Leung, Dr. CHIU Man Chun, Dr. Mary KWONG Bik Luk who had returned from training in paediatric nephrology abroad, and started the procedure in a few hospitals. Dr. YU had together with adult nephrologists first successfully transplanted a girl 12 years old in 1985. Haemodialysis and haemofiltration had begun to be used in a few hospitals in children. Renal activities were budding in the field of paediatrics.
Conception - the four 'plumketeers'
In 1986, Dr. CHIU Man Chun, Dr. CHOW Chun Bong Dr. LEUNG Shu Piu, and Dr. Edwin YU Chau Leung, attended the 7th International Paediatric Nephrology Association in Tokyo. While attending the Congress, we four discussed the idea of forming a group for the interchange of knowledge and experience and maybe doing some studies in kidney dieseases to make clinical work more interesting. For in those days, we were quite alone in our own hospital doing renal work with little support. In one evening, while having the discussion in one of our rooms in the hotel, the four of us, dressed in kimono with plums (shape resembling a kidney) in our hands, made a photo to mark our decision of forming a society. It was the 9th of September 1986.
Birth - in 1989
Right after the Congress, with the help of Professor James Chan, a satellite meeting on Calcium, Phosphate and Mineral Nutrition was held in Hong Kong. Many internationally renowned speakers and delegates from the Congress passed by and attended the Meeting. Further interests in the area of paediatric nephrology were nourished. A working group for the founding of a Society was formed, which included Dr. CHIU Man Chun, Dr. CHOW Chun Bong, Dr. LEUNG Shu Piu, Dr. WONG Sik Nin, Dr. TSAO Yen Chow, Dr. YAU Fai To, and Dr. Edwin YU Chau Leung. It took us some years to have the Society eventually incorporated on 3 July 1989. The first Annual General Meeting was held on 3rd August 1989, with Dr. Edwin YU elected the first president. The Inaugural clinical meeting was held on 29 September in the same year, with Professor Martin Barratt of London invited as the speaker.
Early years - reviews & meetings
Interhospital meetings with case studies and presentations were held. Collaborative reviews were done which included nephrotic syndrome, vesico-ureteric reflux, chronic renal failure and lupus nephritis. Clincial meetings were organized, inviting prominent paediatric nephrologists to speak, e.g. Professor Macholm Holliday (USA), Professor Otto Mehls (Germany), Professor James Chan (USA), Professor Cyril Chantler (UK), Professor Roy Meadow (UK), and Professor George Haycock (UK). Every time, they were able to draw a crowd. Scientific Meetings were also held with members presenting papers. Topics in urology, radiology and radio-isotope scans were also discussed. More people were interested and regular interhospital meetings were held for case presentation and discussion. The Society began to grow.
Later years - going national, regional & international
Members were active to participate in various regional and international paediatric nephrology meetings that were held in Seoul, Taipei, New Dehli, Manila, Toronto, Santiago and London, and had presentations made. In 1996, when the Asian Pediatric Nephrology Association was formed our Society was one of the founder societies. Looking at the world around us, it seemed that it was about time we should widen a bit our Society's perspectives and had it renamed the "Hong Kong Paediatric Nephrology Society". It was in the year 1996.
While approaching 1997, we began to have contacts with paediatric nephrologists in China. Having attended their Annual National Pediatric Nephrology Meeting, we helped them to have selected abstracts of those Annual Meetings to be published in the Pediatric Nephrology Journal (the Journal of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association). It was a great excitement for both our Chinese colleagues as well as the paediatric nephrologists of the western world, for it was for the first time, the west was able to read the work of the Chinese paediatric nephrologists. The role of Hong Kong colleagues had been highly commended by the Secretary General of IPNA and the editors of the Pediatric Nephrology journal. The Society was 'known' internationally.
What then in the next 10 years
The Society has grown over these years. Regular interhospital meetings are now held every six weekly with presentations from different hospitals, and are accredited Cat A credits by the Hon~ Kong College of Paediatricians. We have just finished a colloborative study of nocturnal enuresis and also set up a renal registry for common renal diseases. We are looking forward to more co- operation among colleagues in conducting studies and reviews, and to the increasingly important role of the Society in promoting education and practice in paediatric nephrology for Hong Kong in the years to come.