Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology is a federation of organizations of rheumatology. It was established in Sydney in 1963 and the first Congress was held in 1968 in Mumbai at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
In 1961, the ILAR, International League of Associations of Rheumatology, authorized two Australian rheumatologists to initiate a regional league for Asia Pacific and the organisation, then called SEAPAL was founded in 1963 with four member nations, namely Australia, India, New Zealand and Japan with Dr S Nelson of Australia as the founder President. Over the years the organisation has grown to 27 members including China and Taiwan.
APLAR is a confederation of individual Rheumatology Associations that represent different countries of the Asia-Pacific. The office bearers are nominated and elected by the individual member states. The executive consists of the President, Secretary General, Vice President, Treasurer, Deputy Secretary General, immediate past President, President Elect besides the Editor of the association journal (Int J of Rheum Dis). In addition there are subcommittees and special interest groups. The first President of then SEAPAL was Dr S Nelson from Australia while the current President of APLAR is Dr Syed Atiqul Haq from Bangladesh.
Affiliated National Organisations
APLAR is actively involved in promoting and nurturing national rheumatology societies in countries where rheumatologists are scarce. It has fostered COPCORD projects in several member countries in association with WHO and ILAR. APLAR has special interest groups in different rheumatic diseases and research areas. The most important activity of APLAR is the Annual Congress that is held in different Asian cities every year.
The first SEAPAL Congress was held in 1968 at Mumbai, then Bombay which were held every four years till 2000 when the APLAR Congress became biennial until 2010 before switching to an annual rhythm. List of SEAPAL/APLAR Congresses
The league publishes the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, a peer-reviewed medical journal.