Asean Otorhinolaryngological Head and Neck Federation

Asean Otorhinolaryngological Head and Neck Federation
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More than 14 years have elapsed since the establishment off the ASEAN OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGICAL FEDERATION (now known as ASEAN OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGICAL - HEAD AND NECK FEDERATION) in Medan (Indonesia) on the 2nd of July 1980.

Over the years, from a humble beginning, activities of-the Federation have grown very fast as reflected particularly by the quality of the five Congresses which subsequently took place in Pattaya, Thailand (December 9- 13, 1981), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (April 14-17, 1984), Manila, Philippines (December 4-6, 1986), Singapore (April 6-9, 1989) and Jakarta, Indonesia (June 28 - July 1, 1992).

It is not suprising, therefore, that the International Federation of Otorhinolaryngological Societies (IFOS) did not hesitate to recognize the ASEAN OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGICAL HEAD and NECK FEDERATION prior to the holding of the 5th Congress of the Federation as an important regional scientific body of ASEAN countries.

Many colleagues from within and outside indonesia have asked me several times to write about the history of the origin of the ASEAN ORL FEDERATION. This is particularly true of Dr. Damayanti, the present President of the Federation and Dr. Suchitra Prasansuk, the present Vice President, who has served the Federation as Secretary and Treasurer for almost 14 years, and who has stated that knowledge of the history of our Federation is very important, particularly for the younger generation.

Initially I was doubtful about writing, considering that history belongs to the past, whereas that what we needed was to look forward into the future. I became more doubtful after reading a phrase by Edmund Burke, placed by a colleague in the ASEAN ORL Newsletter : “'Nothing in progress can rest on its original plan. We may as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant”. However, when Dr. Suchitra honored me with the request that I deliver the Oration to the Plenary Session at the 6th Congress of the ASEAN ORL – HEAD and NECK FEDERATION. I thought of Lamartine's statement that, “History teaches everything, even the future”. I accepted the challenge in hopes that the history of the ASEAN Otorhinolaryngological - Head and Neck Federation will serve as an authentic document from which future challenges and opportunities will emerge.

Purnaman S. Pandi, MD