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Commission on Asian and Oceanian Affairs

Aims 

To develop, stimulate and coordinate the epileptology agenda in the Asian and Oceanian region.

Missions

  1. To advance and disseminate throughout the Asian and Oceanian region knowledge concerning the epilepsies
  2. To improve education and training in the field of the epilepsies in Asia via the formation of the Asian Epilepsy
    Academy
  3. To run the Asian Oceanian Epilepsy Congresses together with the International Director of Meetings (IDM) and
    IBE’s Regional Executive Committees
  4. To facilitate clinically relevant epilepsy research in Asia
  5. To serve as a link between ILAE, IBE, WHO, regional medical organizations to promote prevention, diagnosis,
    treatment, advocacy and care for all persons suffering from these disorders in the Asian and Oceanian region
  6. To promote the activities of local chapters, encourage similar policies and administrative structures and facilitate
    their involvement within the global ILAE agenda
  7. To review epilepsy services and the size of the treatment gap in each country and aim to improve the former
    and reduce the latter

Commission Activities From 1 January 2006 Through 31 May 31 2007

1.  Administration

During the period from January 2006 to May 2007, there were 2 batches of officers for the Commission.  Before
May 2006, the Commission was administered by the officers of 2001–2006.  Nomination and election of officers
for 2006–2009 was carried out in the last quarter of 2005, and the new officers of CAOA took office officially in
May 2006.

2.  Business Meetings

As of June 2006, the CAOA 2006-2007, met two times to conduct its business. The first meeting was held on
29 July 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, in conjunction with the meeting of the International Organizing Committee (IOC)
and Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the 6th Asian and Oceanian Epilepsy Congress (AOEC).  The second
meeting was held on 15 November 2006 during the 6th AOEC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  The next Business
Meeting of CAOA will be held on 10 July 2007, during the 27th International Epilepsy Congress (IEC) in Singapore.

3.  Chapter Convention

The Biennial Chapter Convention was held on Thursday, 16 November 2006, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm, at Room
| 304-305, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. National delegates from the 16 ILAE
Chapters in this region participated in this Convention. In addition, representatives from non-chapter countries
including New Zealand, Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, were invited and/or attended the convention.

It was decided at the convention that AOEAC would not be formed. Instead, the Asian and Oceanian
Epilepsy Organization (AOEO), formed in 1995 before the formation of CAOA, would remain to facilitate the
nomination and election of CAOA members once every four years.

4.  Planning for 7th Asian Oceanian Epilepsy Congress (AOEC)

The 7th AOEC will take place in Xiamen (“Summer Gate” in Chinese), Fujian Province, China, from 15 to 18 May
2008. The city was chosen as it has a reasonably good conference facility at relatively low cost, and has convenient
connecting flights to and from many parts of Asia.

CAOA-ASEPA is actively involved in the organization of the AOEC. Like the previous two AOECs, this AOEC is
organized by two committees, the IOC and the SAC.   However, composition of the IOC and the SAC is different
from the previous AOECs. For the IOC, there are six local representatives, three ILAE and three IBE.  One each
of the local ILAE and IBE representatives are Co-Chairs of the IOC. The CAOA Chair and a local representative
take on the responsibility as Co-Chairs of the SAC. SAC members are chosen based on the Main Topics. The ASEPA
Chair is included in the SAC, to organize the ASEPA Didactic Lectures and related activities. CAOA members who
are not SAC members are invited to organize Post-Main and Parallel Sessions.  The 1st IOC meeting was held on
24 March 2007 in Xiamen, while the SAC will meet on 11 July 2007, during 27th IEC. 

The table below lists the members of IOC and SAC:

International Organization Committee (IOC)
Co-Chair            Shichuo Li (China, CAOA Member
                          Susanne Lund (IBE President)
                          Peter Wolf (ILAE President)
Members            Anchor Hung (IBE Vice-President)
                          Shunglon Lai (IBE Vice-President)
                          Weiping Liao (China)
                           Shih Hui Lim (ILAE-CAOA Chair)
                           Wu Liwen (China)
                           Chong Tin Tan (ILAE Vice-President)
                           Guoying Xu (China)
                           Wang Yang (China)
                           Yi Yao (China)  

Scientific Advisory Committe (SAC)
Co-Chair            Shih-Hui Lim (CAOA Chair)
                          Wu Liwen (China)
Members            Satish Jain (India, CAOA Member)
                          Patrick Kwan (Hong Kong, CAOA Member)
                          Weiping Liao (China, ASEPA Member)
                          Guoming Luan (China)
                          Jiong Qin (China)
                          Ingrid Scheffer (Australia)
                          Tatsuya Tanaka (Japan)
                          Chong Tin Tan (ASEPA Chair)

The format for the Scientific Program has been altered slightly from the previous AOECs. Now there will be four
Main and four Post-Main Sessions. During the Post-Main Sessions, there will be simultaneous Parallel Sessions
and Platform Sessions. 

The following topics have been selected for the Main and Post-Main Sessions based on the suggestions and
feedback from ILAE Chapters and IBE Chapters-Friends in this region: ‘Diagnostic Issues in Pediatric Epileptology,’
‘Epilepsy Surgery in Adults,’ ‘Genetics and Epilepsy,’ and ‘Epilepsy & Co-morbidities.’ There will be a Chairman’s
Symposium entitled ‘Addressing Stigma’ on the 1st day and a Highlights Session on the last day of the congress.
  In addition to the usual ASEPA didactic lectures, the 7th AOEC will introduce the “Masakazu Seino Memorial
Lecture” which will become a permanent feature for future AOECs (vide infra).

A two-day program for people with epilepsy will be organized by representatives from IBE and AOEA (Asian
Oceanian Epilepsy Association). CAOA will assist the IOC & the SAC to award bursaries for those who submit an
abstract as well as those who do not submit an abstract for the AOEC.

5.  Asian and Oceanian Regional Steering Committee of the Global Campaign Against Epilepsy (GCAE)

The Steering Committee met for the first time during 6th AOEC in Kuala Lumpur. The purpose of this committee is
to implement plans and monitor activities initiated by the GCAE, as well as to coordinate regional efforts of the
ILAE CAOA-ASEPA and the IBE‘s Regional Executive Committees (REC) of the South & East Asia and Western
Pacific regions.  Dr G Avanzini and Mr P Lee are the Co-Chairs, and Dr SH Lim and CT Tan represent CAOA-ASEPA
in this Committee. This committee will introduce ‘two-way traffic’ into the GCAE with the regional ILAE & IBE
organizations being encouraged to work on GCAE activities and also to suggest new activities.

6.  Research Task Force

A Research Task Force has been formed under CAOA during the 6th AOEC to promote joint research. The Task
Force is headed by Dr Patrick Kwan of Hong Kong and the Ex-Officio is Dr SH Lim, CAOA Chair. The initial step
the Task Force has taken is to identify research priorities for the region. Members of the Task Force are divided
into different subgroups to focus on specific areas within epileptology. Following is a list of names placed under
the various subgroups based on expertise and/or indicated area of interests of all members. 

Sub-Group                          Sub-Group Coordinator             Members

Epidemiology                      W D’Souza                                JP Agrawal, L Cabral-Lim,                                                                                             S Jain, P Kwan, WP Liao,                                                                                             M Mannan, Z Mogal,                                                                                             A Tovuudorji, A Visudtibhan

Pharmacology                     S Jain                                         JP Agrawal, P Bergin,                                                                                              L Cabral-Lim, P Kwan,                                                                                              BI Lee, WP Liao, M Mannan, DJ Yen

Psychosocial/QOL/              KS Lim                                        L Cabral-Lim, W D'Souza,
Public Health                                                                         M Mannan, Z Mogal

EEG                                     SY Kwan                                    S Gunadharma, M Mannan

Surgery                                T Tanaka                                   BI Lee

Basic Science/Genetics         BI Lee                                       S Jain, P Kwan, WP Liao,
                                                                                              N Tan, T Tanaka

Each sub-group will be responsible for drafting the research priorities within its particular area. The sub-
coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the production of the draft. Each sub-group will be invited to
briefly present their preliminary draft at the IEC in Singapore in July 2007. A unified document on research
priorities covering the various areas will then be prepared by the task force – to be endorsed by the CAOA
in due course and be published at appropriate channels e.g. journals, official Web sites.

7. The Late Dr Masakazu Seino

It was with deep sadness that we received the news that Dr Masakazu Seino, a distinguished epileptologist,
Past Chairman of CAOA (1996-2001), Chairman of ASEPA (2003-2007), Founding Chairman of the AOEO, and
Past Vice President of ILAE, passed away on 7th April 2007. On the day of his death, he was still communicating
with one of the CAOA members on the future and financial support of ASEPA. 

Dr Seino’s family, together with his friends, colleagues and the Japan Epilepsy Society, held a memorial service
at Hotel New Ohtani, Tokyo, Japan on 8 April, 2007.  Dr Solomon Moshé, Secretary-General of the ILAE,
Dr Shih-Hui Lim, Chairman, CAOA and Dr Chon Tin Tan, Vice President of the ILAE attended the service.

To perpetuate the memory of Dr Seino and to recognize his immense contributions to the field of Epileptology
in the World, CAOA-ASEPA has decided to establish a biennial lectureship in his name. The inaugural
“Masakazu Seino Memorial Lecture” will be held during the 7th AOEC.

Accomplishments
CAOA-ASEPA had a busy but fruitful period the last 17 months, maximizing the usage of limited human and financial
resources. With the commitment and sacrifice of previous and current members of CAOA-ASEPA and the strong
support of ILAE and other epileptologists in this region, we are moving closer to achieving our two main aims, (1) to
advance and disseminate throughout the Asian & Oceanian region knowledge concerning the epilepsies, and (2) to
improve education and training in the field of the epilepsies in Asia.

1.  Successful Organization of 6th AOEC

The 6th AOEC was held in Kuala Lumpur, November 2006. It was generally regarded as a very successful congress.
More than 1,600 delegates and another 100 people with epilepsy/caregivers attended the Congress.  It was the
largest attendance of all the AOECs. The delegates were from all parts of Asia. The scientific program was well
received. The conference venue was excellent. There was a surplus financially.

2.  Conduct of Education and Training Activities by ASEPA

The ASEPA was formed in 2003, as the educational arm or a sub-commission of CAOA. A majority of the Executive
Committee members were also members of CAOA.  For the next Executive Committee of ASPEA 2007-2011, it has
been decided that members shall preferably be different from that of CAOA, so that more talents could be mobilized
to support the educational effort of CAOA.  It has also been decided that the new seven-member Committee shall
include representatives from big countries such as Australia, China, and India.

The following workshops and teaching courses are being planned, to be held in the second half of 2007: 
Neurobiology – Singapore (July); Surgery – Xian, China (September); Pediatrics – Kathmandu, Nepal (September);
Pediatrics – Mumbai, India (October); and Neuoimaging – Philippines (November).  

 2.1.  Teaching Courses and Workshops

The following workshops and teaching courses were conducted under the auspices of ASEPA between January
2006 and May 2007: 

Type of Courses and Workshops      Dates     City, Country             Teaching Faculty                         Sponsoring Organization

General Epileptology                       15th - 16th June 2006           WP Liao (China), CT Tan (Malaysia),                  ILAE-CAOA
                                                     Nanning, China                    JJ Tsai (Taiwan), K Yagi, Y Inoue,
                                                                                              
Takahashi Y & M Seino (Japan).                                                     

                                                              20th - 21st April 2007           WP Liao (China), SH Lim (Singapore),               ILAE-CAOA              
                                                              Haikou, China                      CT Tan (Malaysia), K Yagi & Y Inoue (Japan)                                          

EEG                                               17th - 18th February, 2006    A Pan (Singapore),                                         ILAE-CAOA
                                                    
Dhaka, Bangladesh               A Mohamed (Australia),              
                                                                                               Terada K (Japan), CT Tan (Malaysia)                                             

                                                               14th November 2006             SH Lim & A Pan (Singapore),                           ILAE-CAOA              
                                                                Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia        A Bleasel (Australia), A Ikeda,                                          
                                                                                                          Kiyohito TERADA (Japan),                                          
                                                                                                          CT Tan (Malaysia)                                          

                                                                6th March 2007                     SH Lim (Singapore), A Ikeda,  (Japan),            ILAE-CAOA              
                                                                Cha Am, Thailand                  Y Chinvarun & T Desugitkol (Thailand),                                          
                                                                                                           CT Tan (Malaysia), J Dunne (Australia)             

Neuroimaging                                  25th February 2006               DC Reutens, G Jackson                            Epilepsy Society of Australia
                                                      
Guangzhou, China                & JL Freeman (Australia)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Surgery                                           8th - 10th March 2006            Y Inoue, A Ikeda, S Kameyama &                     UCB Japan
                                                     
Shizuoka, Japan                     T Otsuki (Japan), BI Lee (Korea),                                          
                                                                                                  TT Wong (Taiwan)                                          

AED Treatment                                7th - 8th April 2006                 P Kwan (Hong Kong),                                   UCB Asia-Pacific
                                                     
Guangzhou, China                  SH Lim (Singapore), M Cook &                                          
                                                                                                  D McLaughlin(Australlia),
                                                                                                  WP Liao (China), CT Tan (Malaysia)                                          

Epilepsy  Syndrome                         27th - 28th April 2007            E Somerville, A Bleasel,                               UCB Asia-Pacific
                                                     
Bandung, Indonesia              J Dune (Australia), N Tan (Singapore),                                          
                                                                                                 A Berroya (Philippines), R Panggabean                                          
                                                                                                 (Indonesia)                                                  

Psychosocial Issues                         26th - 27th May 2007            JJ Tsai & SL Lai (Taiwan),                           IBE-Regional Executive
                                                    
Shanghai, China                    A Tovuudorj (Mongolia),                            Committees for Western                                          
                                                                                                A Hung (Hong Kong), H Kubota (Japan),      Pacific & South-East Asia                                          
                                                                                                Z Hong, Wang & Li (China),                        Regions & ILAE-CAOA                                          
                                                                                                CT Tan (Malaysia)                                                  

2.2.   Fellowship
Four fellowships were awarded in 2006-2007 by ASEPA.  In addition, ASEPA assisted in the award of two six-month
fellowships from the Epilepsy Research Foundation of Japan and one 12-month fellowship from the Epilepsy Society
of Australia. The seven candidates were from China (2), Bangladesh (1), India (1), Vietnam (1), Sri Lanka (1), and
Indonesia (1). They will undergo training in Shizuoka, Japan (3), Melbourne, Australia (1), Trivandrum, India (1),
Singapore (1), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1).

2.3.   ASEPA-ASNA EEG Certification Examination
The ASEPA in cooperation with ASEAN Neurological Association (ASNA) launched a Certification Examination on EEG
in 2005. The purpose of the EEG certification is to establish and improve standards of training and the professional
practice of Electroencephalography (EEG) in Asia. 

The Certification Examination is being conducted by a board with six members, three nominated by the Asian
Epilepsy Academy (ASEPA) and three by the ASEAN Neurological Association (ASNA). The board conducts
examination at least once a year.  Board members prepare multiple choice questions for the Part I examination
as well as conduct the Part II oral examination. As and when necessary, the board will invite any qualified
Electroencephalographer as Associate Examiners for the Part II examination. 

As of March 2007, ASEPA & ASNA has conducted three Part 1 examinations: Jakarta, Indonesia (July 2005),
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (16 November 2006) and Cha Am, Thailand (7 March 2007).  A total of 33 candidates
sat for the Part 1 examination and 20 passed (60% passing rate).  Part 2 examination was first conducted
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 16 November 2006.  Four candidates took the examination, three (75%) passed
and became certified Electroencephalographers.  Examiners were A Bleasel (Australia), A Ikeda (Japan), SH Lim
and A Pan (Singapore).

2.4. Publications

A proceeding of the 6th AOEC will soon be published as a supplement of Neurology Asia.  A proceeding of the
status of epilepsy surgery in various Asian countries from presentations during the workshop in Shizuoka will
also be published as a supplement of Neurology Asia.

Future Work
As of May 2007, there are 16 Chapters in the Asian and Oceanian region. New Zealand will be accepted as a Chapter
in the coming General Assembly of ILAE during the 27th IEC. However, many countries in Asia are without a national
epilepsy organization and/or ILAE chapter. This reflects slow development of epilepsy care in these countries which
have diverse political and economical backgrounds. Even in those countries with ILAE chapters, varying degrees of
knowledge, research and/or treatment gaps still exist. 

The commission will assist Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other countries in this region to form chapters. CAOA-ASEPA will
continue to do its part to minimize knowledge gaps by increasing its educational effort. It is hoped that the Research
Task Force could help to narrow the research gap, thereby indirectly improve patient care. We will increase cooperation
and collaboration with IBE-RECs, regional offices of the World Health Organization, and regional neurological
organizations to reduce treatment gaps in this region.

Shih-Hui Lim
Chair, Commission on Asian and Oceanian Affairs

 

 

 


 
 
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