We're delighted to have this opportunity to speak with Professor Yong-Hong Yang, not only a WSPID Board member but also a member of the local organizing committee and Immediate Past President of the Asian Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ASPID).
- Tell us about your background, your current position and how it connects to the field of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
I graduated from Anhui Medical University in 1966 as MD. Then I worked in Anhui Province General Hospital in a Pediatric Residency Program. In 1979, I moved to Beijing and worked as an attending pediatrician, an Associate Professor and Professor in the Beijing Children's Hospital affiliated with the Capital Medical University and Beijing Pediatric Institute. From 1994 to 2005, i served as deputy director of the hospital and the Institute. I was trained at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S. from 1985 to 1988 in John Robbins' Laboratory to perform research on Hi/ Pnc/MC conjugate vaccines. When returning back, I established a Laboratory of Microbiology and Immunology and led a World Health Organization (WHO) project on etiologic and epidemiologic studies of bacterial meningitis in China. I have coordinated international collaborations with scientists in the U.S., Sweden, Finland, France, Russia and Korea in the field of bacterial infections in childhood, especially Hib, Pneumococcus, Group A/B/G streptococcus, MRSA, Pertussis, and Chlamydia Pneumonia. My research fields are connected with pediatric infectious diseases. I also act as a clinical consultant in Beijing and Shenzhen where I obtained my Professor of Pediatrics for ID and pulmonology.
Since 2002, I joined ASPID as a Standing Committee Member and became a Board Member of WSPID (2002-2006). In 2014, we successfully held the ASPID conference in Beijing and I became President of ASPID (2014-16).
- How do the topics which will be discussed relate to and have an impact on the Asian region and China specifically?
Many topics have been discussed already, such as hepatitis A/B/C, Antibacterial
usage and resistances, pneumococcal diseases and other severe bacterial diseases, influenza, RSV, EV 71 and other severe viral infections, laboratory diagnostic methods for PID, vaccines, etc.
All of the above relate to and have an impact on the Asian region and also China specifically.
- Can you explain the importance of a conference such as WSPID 2017 from a Chinese perspective? How is WSPID 2017 unique?
WSPID 2017 is the second world wide pediatric congress to be held in China. The first one was IPA 2011 in Beijing. It is also the first time for a children's hospital to hold the international pediatric meeting. So, Shenzhen's pediatricians are feeling very much proud and grateful.
PID are important not only for PID doctors, but also for general pediatrician. I can say that every day the Chinese pediatricians see the ID patients, especially in rural areas. The poorer the country is the more ID. We had terrible experiences with SARS in Guangzhou and Hong Kong, just near Shenzhen. New influenza and other pathogens always started from Southeast Asia, including South China. In the recent year, there was an outbreak of Group A streptococcal infections in children in Hong Kong and Guangdong Province (Shenzhen).
- What do you envisage will be the biggest challenges facing Asia in terms of pediatric infectious diseases? How important are national and regional societies when it comes to transferring research knowledge from congresses into clinical best practices for their members?
We have a major issue regarding the shortage of pediatricians in China and also in Asia countries. How to diagnose, treat and prevent the ID from children is very important for all the societies, national and regional societies. The Chinese society of Pediatrics has already encouraged all members and branches to get as many doctors and researchers to attend WSPID 2017.
- How will participants benefit from attending WSPID 2017 in terms of speakers and sessions?
Participants will learn from experts world-wide. They also can discuss ideas and opinions regarding any ID topic with international, regional and local experts. They can join the education program and "Meet the professor" sessions.
‒ What should attendees see in Shenzhen before leaving?
There are many sightseeing places in Shenzhen. In Only 15 minutes' drive they can reach the border with Hong Kong. In About 1-2 hours they can go to Macau by boat. By Taking a flight or fast train, they can easily go to Hainan Island and see the most famous and beautiful scenic spots of south China. Most important thing is that the weather in these places is warmer during December. Attendees can find all the information on the internet.
Professor Yong-Hong Yang
WSPID Board member and a member of the local organizing committee and Immediate Past President of the Asian Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ASPID).