Dear ASPR Family Members,

It is with honor and gratitude that I accept the ASPR flag from Professor Yu Lung Lau, along with the responsibility of further strengthening this wonderful medical professional society. Professor. Lau, and ASPR past presidents before him, have nurtured this wonderful society from infancy to youth, and set to take on new mission in the next few years. I am humbled to serve as your new ASPR President, and I am looking forward to working with each one of you and your fellow pediatricians across Asia.

The acronym ASPR is of plain English, but I think these 4 capitalized letters carry a tremendous amount of weight. We are an Asian medical research Society, but as we have seen in COVID-19, viruses and diseases do not have borders. It is only with joint efforts, not only clinical and research leaders in our own country, region, and continent, but also from all over the world. I think we ought to take pride in the tradition of medical exchanges that we have already established within ASPR amongst many member societies, countries, and regions. We should take the same pride as we engage societies, countries and regions outside of Asia, so that our evidence-based medicine as well as best practice and research may benefit as many physicians, researchers, and ultimately children, as possible.

As to Pediatric Research, we all know our children by nature are resilient as well as vulnerable. Children cannot speak for themselves on health status, healthcare needs and treatment outcome. In such, it is our responsibility as pediatricians and pediatric researchers to fulfill the role not only as their care providers, but also health watchers, medical guardians, and policy advocates. Good policies and guidelines cannot be developed without good research, and good research in return drives good practice. It is my hope that during my term of service as your president, pediatric practice and research exchanges in the Asia region and beyond will continue to flourish, and bring fruitful results for all children.

The first announcement I make today as your ASPR president, however, is to postpone our 2020 annual congress until 2021. This decision was made after a careful thought process, and discussions with Prof Lau, and pediatric society leaders in the region. I hope you understand this decision was made to protect the safety of all ASPR members. Your health, and the health of children we provide care, are always our priority.

There is no doubt the outbreak of COVID-19 is changing the world. It has evolved into a global pandemic. Millions of people are infected. The challenge before us, as horrific as it is, also presents opportunities for us to work more closely than ever before. In the next few months, we will be collecting and sharing with you on our ASPR official web site useful literature and practice in fighting against COVID-19. I will be working with the Council and our secretariat office to compile relevant tools and resources. In addition, we also plan to work with peer global medical organizations to conduct live webinars on COVID-19, and such webinars will be open to all of you. I hope such efforts will help you in this global battle of humanity vs. virus.

If you have good cases you would like to share, please send it to us. No matter which country you are in, you are not alone, and we are one ASPR family. Faith, love and care will help us, and help our children. Humanity will prevail.

Best wishes,
Kunling SHEN, MD, PhD