• Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1, NO. 5 JULY 1, 2023

"The greatness of our lives is not what we leave
behind, but what we send forward."

—Ray Noah

This fifth number of ‘Hands-On’ will be my last issue as editor. I am immensely thankful to my editorial team for their support, without whom this journey would not have been possible. Michael Boland from New Zealand will be taking over as the new editor of the newsletter and his team will have a mixture of some old and new faces. I wish him and the new editorial team the very best.

In addition to our regular content, this issue has updates on the fellowships offered by APFSSH, a report on the recently concluded APFSSH meeting at Singapore and an ‘In-Memoriam’ article on Sajedur Reza Faruquee. This heartfelt article by Dr Sabapathy is a must read for all young hand surgeons. Please continue to support Michael and his team with articles and pictures. We cannot do this without your help.

Happy Reading.

Editorial Team @ Hands-On
Jennifer, Norimasa, Pankaj, Raymar & Sandeep

Message from President-Elect
Anthony Berger

Looking Back, Moving Forward

“....APFSSH is one of the most diverse and inclusive organizations in the world.” Anthony Berger
It is a great honor and privilege to be appointed President of the APFSSH. This is a wonderful organization dedicated to furthering education and training in hand surgery in our region. I feel very humbled to follow in the footsteps of our previous Presidents and I hope that, with the help of our very talented executive, to further the aims of our founding forefathers.

Those of you who were in Singapore with me will have, I am sure, enjoyed and benefited greatly from our first face to face conference since the outbreak of COVID. How much more enjoyable, beneficial and efficient it is to meet, learn and discuss in person and to renew and make new friends. I would like to thank Mark Puhaindran and Jacquelin Tan and their organizing committees for creating such a wonderful and comprehensive program. I would also like to thank the conference organizers for the seamless integration of all the facets of this congress and the enormous support from the trade. Without them we would not be able to run such events. I certainly know from experience how difficult these conferences are to organize and how valuable early preparation can be in ensuring a smooth event.

I would also like to congratulate the Conference organizers for adopting the theme of Diverse and Inclusive for this conference. Looking around the conference halls I think I can safely say that the APFSSH is one of the most diverse and inclusive organizations in the world. Diverse not only in gender but in religion, culture, language and
Message from President-Elect
Anthony Berger
economies and yet all working together for a common goal in treating our patients with respect. Jennifer Green in the session entitled Women in Orthopaedics talked about her journey with diversity and rightly stated that Diversity is Strength and a more diverse organization is more effective in achieving its goals. I am hopeful that our executive and I can encourage other Hand Surgery Societies in our region to join the APFSSH, further strengthening our organization and hopefully helping more patients

Many great things have been achieved by the APFSSH executive under the leadership of Goo Hyun Baek and Raja Sabapathy. Just prior to the pandemic we opened a bank account in Singapore in January 2020.This account received money from member
35 years of friendship and fellowship (1988-2023)
(L-R): Fuminori Kanaya (Secretary General), Raja Sabapathy (President) and Anthony Berger (President-Elect) at the 13th APFSSH Congress at Singapore, 31 May-3 June, 2023
society subscriptions, profits from prior APFSSH conferences and contributions from our Journal. We recently received a very generous donation from Raja Sabapathy to kick-start our Fellowship Programs for which we are extremely grateful. Our Education Committee has now been formalized and we are advertising the APFSSH Travelling Fellowship and the APFSSH Visiting Professorship programs in this newsletter. We hope to develop further educational programs in the near future so I would encourage all of you to keep in contact with what is happening through the Newsletter and our website. I would again like to acknowledge the great work of Sandeep Sebastin in editing our newsletter. This is a great way we can all keep in touch and learn of the many activities in our region.

We are now expanding the size of our executive to include Members at Large.
Message from President-Elect
Anthony Berger
These surgeons will assist in the growing activities of our executive and to bring in a more diverse input into our organization so we can more appropriately reflect the needs and ambitions of our member societies. I am hopeful we are heading in the right direction and that we will be able to grow.I would encourage any member of an APFSSH society to contact me or the Executive with ideas to help with our growth.
In closing I would like to say how wonderful it was to meet face to face again in Singapore. Many people I met again have been friends for decades and I think this is one of the great strengths of the APFSSH. I wrote last year on the value of Fellowship in our Federation and how important it is to make new friends and renew old friendships. It is an interesting coincidence that Raja Sabapathy, Past President, myself as current President and Fuminori Kanaya, President Elect were all Fellows with Harold Kleinert in the same year, 1988. After 35 years of friendship we are still working together.

Enjoy our Federation, engage in its activities and in your society events, travel and meet new people.

Hope to see you all in India in 2025, if not before.

Anthony Berger, President, APFSSH

Secretary General's Report
Alphonsus Chong

Exciting Times

"Biennial meetings
and a 2-year
executive term will make APFSSH
more dynamic and effective"
Alphonsus Chong
It is my pleasure to write this message as the incoming Secretary-General. We just had a very successful 13th APFSSH scientific meeting in Singapore, held in conjunction with APFSHT and APWA meetings. The conference was a scientific and social buffet, well represented geographically from our region and beyond. It was a pleasure meeting in person many old friends and colleagues from the region, and making new ones. Kudos to the co-chairs Drs Mark Puhaindran and Jacqueline Tan for delivering such a wonderful meeting, much of it organized whilst we were deep in the Covid-19 pandemic with all its restrictions and uncertainties.
The Singapore meeting also saw Drs Dawn Chia, Sandeep J Sebastin (Deputy Editor of JHSAP) and S Raja Sabapathy (our immediate past President) launching their book "Crafting a Legacy: The incredible lives of Asian-Pacific Hand Surgery Pioneers" published by World Scientific Publishing Company, which also publishes our journal. This compilation of the lives of 48 of our pioneers provides a close up and behind the scenes look at hand surgeons who have contributed to their nation, the region and beyond. Each congress
Secretary General's Report
Alphonsus Chong
participant received a copy of the book. The authors have generously donated future royalties to the APFSSH. We still have books available for sale, so please reach out if you wish to get a copy.

The 2023 congress marks a transition in the frequency of our scientific meetings from 3 yearly to 2 yearly. Since our inaugural meeting in Perth, Australia 1997, we have had regular biennial meetings. This changed after 2014 when the meetings became triennial events. In 2020, our society decided to return to biennial meetings after 2023. In tandem with the biennial meetings, the executive committee terms will also shorten from 3 to 2 years. We believe these changes will help make the APFSSH more dynamic and effective.

We have a new executive committee (exco). The Annual General Meeting in Singapore
2023-2025 APFSSH EXCO
(L-R): Alphonsus Chong (Secretary General), Fuminori Kanaya (President-Elect), Anthony Berger (President), S Raja Sabapathy (Immediate Past President), and Hyun Sik Gong (Treasurer)
Secretary General's Report
Alphonsus Chong
was completely represented by all the member nations, with some countries sending additional representatives to observe the proceedings. I am both gratified and humbled by this overwhelming support for our society, and the new exco will do our best to serve the APFSSH. This exco represents both continuity and renewal. Dr Anthony Berger is our new President, with Dr S Raja Sabapathy stepping into the role of Immediate Past President. I have worked with Tony since 2017, first, to formalize the constitution we now use, and since then on multiple other initiatives for APFSSH. He is a pleasure to work for and be with, and I look forward to his leadership in this term. We welcome Dr Gong Hyun Sik from South Korea as our new Treasurer. Hyun Sik is new to the exco, but not new to our society, having been a member of the editorial board of the JHSAP over the last term. I would also like to thank Dr Goo-Hyun Baek, who has stepped down as Immediate Past President. Goo-Hyun has made immense contributions to our society and journal, and it is also on his shoulders that we stand on today as a society.

Our new executive committee has started work to forward the mission of APFSSH. In this issue of the newsletter is the announcement for the travelling fellowship and professorship. These are initiatives that we are happy to see come to fruition. In particular, the travelling fellowship has been greatly helped by a personal donation of SGD 50,000 by our Immediate Past President Dr S Raja Sabapathy. We are confident these educational programs will be an important part in advancing Hand Surgery in the Asian-Pacific region.

Looking forward, I see exciting times ahead for our society. On behalf of the APFSSH Executive Committee and 2025 Meeting Organizing Committee, we welcome you to our next Scientific Congress from 10-13 October 2025 in Mahabalipuram, India. Looking very much to meeting many of you in person there!

Alphonsus Chong, Secretary General, APFSSH

Dr Clara Wong


Name: This Fellowship will be known as the APFSSH Travelling Fellowship.

Aims: The aim of this travelling fellowship is to provide limited financial support to a young surgeon from an APFSSH member society to travel to an international hand surgery conference and then travel to at least one further hand surgery centre in that city or country to learn and gain further experience and to make new contacts.

One Fellowship will be offered each year.

Application: Applications will be accepted by the APFSSH Education Committee from hand surgeons no later than 1st December in the year prior to their proposed Fellowship.


  1. Applicants must be under the age of 45 at the time of application
  2. Applicant must be a full member of their countries Hand Surgery Association / Society
  3. Applicant should outline the desired outcome of their Fellowship and what they hope to achieve
  4. Applicants must outline their travel plans in detail including the Congress they are to attend and what other centres they intend to visit. This should be accompanied by a letter from the host society confirming the program.
  5. Application must include a current CV.

Selection Criteria: The APFSSH Travelling Fellowship will be reviewed by the members of the APFSSH Education Committee and awarded based on the quality of the proposed educational activity, the detail of the application process and the perceived value of the Fellowship for the travelling fellow and their parent Society. Preference will be given to conferences in the Asian-Pacific region.

The successful candidate will be notified of the decision of the Education Committee within 4 weeks of closing date. The Fellowship must be concluded within the year following acceptance of the Fellowship.

Dr Clara Wong
Support: The APFSSH will be offering one Travelling Fellowship each year with financial support of $5000SGD for each candidate. The successful candidate will arrange for any extra expenses themselves. The candidate may seek further support from their parent Society and the guest society. The APFSSH Executive will assist with introductions and contact details.

It is expected that the fellow will acknowledge the support of the APFSSH in any presentation and publication arising out of the Travelling Fellowship.

Post Fellowship obligations: Following the Fellowship it is a requirement that the fellow provide to the Education Committee a reconciliation of how the grant was used. It is also expected that the Fellow will provide a written report to the Education Committee on their experience and to present their experience to the next APFSSH Biennial Congress.

Liability: The successful candidate will indemnify the APFSSH and the Executive for any adverse events that may occur during the course of the fellowship.

Clara Wong, Member, Education Sub-committee, APFSSH

Dr Clara Wong



Aims: The aim of this Visiting Professor is to assist with the funding for a member society to attract a senior surgeon to attend their scientific meeting and to visit and teach in 1-2 other institutions before or after the conference. Ideally the Visiting Professor will be a keynote speaker for the conference and would be expected to make a significant contribution to the host meeting but does not have to have the title of Professor.

Application: The conference organizing committee of member society will send requests to the APFSSH Education Committee outlining the name of the surgeon for whom they are applying, what is to be expected from the Visiting Professor and a program for the pre- or post-conference visits by the Visiting Professor.

The organizing committee of the member society conference will have already invited the speaker and established a program for them. Once the speaker has accepted the invitation then the organizing committee will apply to the AFPSSH educational committee outlining their program and seek funding.

It is expected that the organizing committee will provide free registration for the Visiting Professor and assist where possible with travel and accommodation costs as well as assisting them in organising the additional education program.

The APFSSH Visiting Professor should be recognized as an expert in their field and be a published author. It is preferable that the Visiting Professor is from an APFSSH member nation.

The application should be received by the APFSSH Education Committee via the Secretariat before 1st December of the year prior the member society conference. Each member society may apply for only one Visiting Professor for the year.

Selection Criteria: The decision of the Education committee will be based on the perceived value of the education program for the Visiting Professor and their planned contributions to the conference and the institutions that they visit.

Dr Clara Wong

Support: The APFSSH will support one Visiting Professor to the value of $5000SGD each year paid to the organizing committee. The successful surgeon will be acknowledged in all advertising as the APFSSH Visiting Professor. Whilst additional funding for this Visiting Professor may be sought from trade partners etc. this will not impact the naming rights for this position.

Reporting: It is a requirement of the Visiting Professor that after the conclusion of the Visit that the organizing committee provides a report to the APFSSH Education Committee on how the funding was used and what the Visiting Professor achieved.

It is also expected that either the Visiting Professor or a member of the host organizing committee will present their experience of the Visiting Professor at the following APFSSH congress or in the APFSSH Newsletter.

Liability: The successful organizing committee and member society will indemnify the APFSSH and the Executive for any adverse events that may occur during the course of the Visiting Professor’s travels.

Clara Wong, Member, Education Sub-committee, APFSSH


Update on Our Journal
S Raja Sabapathy

Stay Informed About the Progress of Your Journal

This is the second year of the new editorial team and we are working hard to reach the goals that we had set when we took over.
"The download rate of articles from the journal increased 20 times over the year 2022." S Raja Sabapathy
It will be good to pass on to you relevant information on the progress.

We maintain 6 issues per year starting with February 2022. Still, institutional subscriptions in the form of hand societies ordering bulk subscriptions to their members remain the main source of sale of the journal with Japanese society being the single largest subscriber with 1058 members in 2022. One notable change we have seen over the year was that most societies shifted to e-subscriptions. Many surgeons have personally conveyed to me that the print issue of JHS-AP is one of their popular journals to read, with pleasing format and font styles. But the journal with 180 to 200 pages per issue is heavy and the rising air cargo rates have made it uneconomical to offer the print subscriptions to members. Japan, Australia, South Korea, India and Singapore are some of the member nation societies that subscribe to the journal in bulk. As Editor in Chief, I request all the member nations to take advantage of the attractive e-subscription rates. It is our journal and there is strength in numbers.

In the year 2022, we had published 162 articles averaging about 17 articles per issue. They comprise a mixture of original articles, invited articles, case reports, and technical notes with at least 10 original articles per issue. We introduced the system of free downloads of case reports, technical notes and editorials. It is encouraging to note that the download rate of articles from the journal increased 20 times over the year 2022 and our journal articles are becoming popular. We
Update on Our Journal
S Raja Sabapathy
request you all to make JHS (AP) your journal of choice to send in your best work for publication.

The speed of review process and publication remains a work in progress. The number of days from submission to the first decision on an average is 41 and we feel that it is long. While efforts are made to reduce this lag, once again we invite all who could provide quality and timely reviews to join our reviewer panel. The submission base remains wide with Japan, India, United States, Australia and United Kingdom being the countries providing maximum submissions. All these metrics point to a future robust growth of the journal. The journal will also get a new Editor-in-Chief from the coming year. Sandeep Sebastin who is at present one of the 5 editors will take over as the Editor-in-Chief from 2024. I think it will herald one more positive steps of growth of the journal. Sandeep being one of the most active editors, I am sure the transition will be very smooth. It has been a fabulous 2 years working with a great team, committed to work and quality and who could put in what is needed no matter how demanding it is.

Crafting a Legacy
Dawn Chia, Sandeep Sebastin & S Raja Sabapathy
As editors we also made a significant contribution in recording the life journey of 48 great hand surgeons of the Asian-Pacific region who have been recognized by the IFSSH. The book titled ‘Crafting the Legacy’, as the name suggests, immortalises the work and memories of these great individuals. What began with a question of what to do for the 25 years of the JHS-AP, ended up with this book which was released by Prof. Fu Chan Wei on the first day of the APFSSH congress in Singapore early this year. Those interested to obtain a personal copy can get at a concessional cost till stocks last by e-mailing admin@apfssh.net or ordering directly from the APFSSH website. The editors are really proud of this contribution. As our journal marches ahead, please support us by sending in your best academic work for publication and participate in all ways possible to make it the preferred journal of Hand surgery.

Dr S Raja Sabapathy, Editor-in-Chief, JHS-AP

JHS-AP Article In-Focus
Praveen Bhardwaj
Trigger finger (TF) release is considered as one of the ‘simple’ operations in hand surgery. However, in some cohorts a simple release may be associated with persistent symptoms or recurrence in as high as 23% of patients. The authors of this article have done a systematic review to provide us clear indications to perform the excision of one slip or complete flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) for the treatment of TF.
The authors’ preferred technique for FDS slip excision showing A. preferred incisions; B. Division of an FDS slip at its insertion on the middle phalanx; and C. Proximal retrieval of the cut FDS slip, followed by A1 pulley and FDS tendon excision through the proximal wound
Any of the two slips can be removed, however, in cases of rheumatoid arthritis the ulnar slip excision has been often suggested to prevent the ulnar drift of the fingers seen in these patients. Interestingly, if needed, the whole FDS excision is also considered to be safe. The authors provide a clear guideline, that primary excision of FDS should be considered if the A1 pulley release does not relieve the triggering completely during the surgery; and can be considered in patients at high risk of disease recurrence (those with insulin dependent diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis) or with preoperative fixed flexion deformity of the proximal interphalangeal joint. FDS release is effective at decreasing the fixed flexion deformity and results in lower recurrence rates among these high risk cohorts.

Praveen Bhardwaj, Editor, JHS-AP
JHS-AP Article In-Focus
Praveen Bhardwaj
Does the Functional Status of the Upper Limb Influence Limb Length Discrepancy in a Child with Birth Brachial Plexus Palsy? Bhardwaj P, Malokar D, Sankaran A, Varadharajan V, Venkatramani H, Sabapathy SR. J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2023 Feb;28(1):5-12.
'Complimentary access to full text of this article has been provided by the World Scientific Publishing Co. (Singapore) and requires registration at the journal website. Registration is free.'
There are many issues in birth brachial plexus palsy (BBPP) which are often discussed in the literature but still remain controversial. However, some common issues, like limb length discrepancy (LLD) are not much discussed. Nonetheless, LLD is a common concern among the parents and they often ask the treating surgeon if that can be prevented. A common instruction is to encourage the child to use the hand more and it is thought to prevent limb shortening. However, there is no literature evidence for
Limb length discrepancy noted in children with birth brachial plexus palsy.
this assumption. Authors of this article have prospectively measured limb length in consecutive 100 children with BBPP to assess the LLD and have correlated it with the functional status of the upper limb. Authors observed that LLD was seen in almost all the children with BBPP. The functional status of the upper limb was found to be significantly associated with LLS. Even in the children with comparable extent of plexus involvement, those with better functional scores had significantly lesser LLD. Thus, the papers provides an evidence to the common assumption that increasing the use of the affected hand would reduce the LLD. However, it was particularly noted that the children who ‘independently’ use their involved upper limb are the ones who would have the least LLD. This information could be very useful for parental education and planning rehabilitation for the children with BBPP.
Praveen Bhardwaj, Editor, JHS-AP
Report on 13th APFSSH, 9th APFSHT, & 8th APWA Congress
Mark Puhaindran
The 13th APFSSH Congress was held in conjunction with the 9th APFSHT and 8th APWA meetings between 31 May to 3 June 2023 at the Singapore Expo, Singapore. This was the first APFSSH Congress since the onset of the Covid pandemic, which also caused national lockdowns that led to the abrupt conclusion of the 12th APFSSH Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2020. We faced numerous challenges preparing for this meeting due to the uncertainties as to whether Covid restrictions would be lifted, with some participating members still unable to travel at the time of the congress due to national travel restrictions that were still in place. Despite this, we were fortunate that we were still able to proceed with this meeting in the planned physical format.
APFSSH Executive Committee along with SSHS Organising Committee
Report on 13th APFSSH, 9th APFSHT, & 8th APWA Congress
Mark Puhaindran
The theme for the meeting was “Diverse and Inclusive”, which was evident throughout from the opening ceremony and performance, and reflects the character of the host country, Singapore. A total of 840 participants attended the conference, representing 33 countries, with 378 abstracts presented, and 171 speakers.
Dance Performance at the Inaugural Ceremony
Report on 13th APFSSH, 9th APFSHT, & 8th APWA Congress
Mark Puhaindran
Prof RWH Pho delivering the Tajima Oration
The Pioneer Lecture was delivered by Professor Fu Chan Wei, while Professor Robert Pho delivered the Tajima Lecture. Professor Tunku Sara gave the Presidential Lecture. In addition to these plenary lectures, the Scientific Programme was well received, with the Meet the Masters and Morning Rounds Sessions fully subscribed. There were also sessions on “Women in Orthopaedics”, “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Hand Surgery”, and discussions on “What is Happening in My Part of the World”

For the first time, a Nurses Symposium was held as part of this Congress.
Prof FC Wei delivering the Pioneer Lecture
Prof Tunku Sara Ahmad felicitated after the Presidential Lecture
(L-R): Raja Sabapathy, Jacqueline Tan, Tunku Sara Ahmad, and Anthony Berger
Report on 13th APFSSH, 9th APFSHT, & 8th APWA Congress
Mark Puhaindran
The Congress Dinner was held in the beautiful setting of the Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay. The musical performances literally got the participants on their feet, making it a night to remember.
Report on 13th APFSSH, 9th APFSHT, & 8th APWA Congress
Mark Puhaindran
Organising Committee
(L-R): Dawn Chia, Robert Yap, Soumen Das De, Mark Puhaindran, Jacqueline Tan, and Andrew Chin
The pictures from the meeting are available here. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to many who helped to contribute to the success of this meeting – all the participants, the APFSSH and IFSSH Executive Committees, our sponsors, the Event Organiser, ICS (International Conference Services), and our Organising Committee. We look forward to next APFSSH Congress in Chennai, India in 2025, as well as to hosting the IFSSH Congress in Singapore in 2028.
Mark Puhaindran, Co-Chair, APFSSH Congress-2023, Singapore
Associate Professor Sajedur Reza Faruquee (1968-2023)
S Raja Sabapathy

A Farewell to Faruquee

'Sir, I thank you for scolding me. But please don’t scold my country. It is my mistake, and I do not want to bring any disrepute for my country’ Sajedur Reza Faruquee
August 2006, Ganga Hospital
March 2006: I had been to Bangladesh as a guest lecturer for the annual meeting of the Bangladesh orthopaedic society. After the meeting, I visited the wards with Prof Kairy and realised that there was a great need for microsurgery and trauma reconstructive surgery in Bangladesh. I offered a fellowship for a surgeon from Bangladesh at Ganga hospital with a modest stipend and wanted good candidates. I always found it difficult to identify an ideal candidate from a developing country based on the CV. I requested Prof Kairy and Prof Kalam both of whom I held in high regard, to choose the best candidate. They in-turn probed me for selection criteria, and I asked them to choose the best youngster that had a good attitude to work and who would do good on returning to Bangladesh. The first person they selected was Faruqee.

July 2006: Faruquee arrived at Ganga, settled fast and I started learning some lessons. We had a patient from Pakistan and as I was going to see him, I called Faruqee to come help with Urdu language. Then he told, ‘Sir, I also don’t know the language. In Bangladesh we speak Bengali and went on to explain their freedom movement which led to the birth of Bangladesh, the language issue and how the liberation day of Bangladesh is celebrated around the world as the Mother Tongue Day.’ On one of my visits back to Bangladesh, he accompanied me to all the memorials and museums and passionately explained their freedom struggle.

August 2006: The defining moment in our relationship came within a month of his arrival. He
Associate Professor Sajedur Reza Faruquee (1968-2023)
S Raja Sabapathy
had committed an error in patient care. I was very upset and reprimanded him strongly. In one of the sentences, I told him that ‘countries like yours don’t grow because educated people like you are not responsible’. He took the scolding calmly, appeared to be moved and went away. Then he met me in the evening when I was alone, apologised for the mistake and then said, ‘Sir, I thank you for scolding me and appreciate you for correcting me. But please don’t scold my country. It is my mistake, and I do not want to bring any disrepute for my country’. I was moved. I got up and held his hand and said, ‘Faruqee, I am proud of you. The greatest quality anyone can have is to have true patriotism to one’s country. Rarely we have people who are truly proud of their country, and I am so proud to have you’. I don’t know if this event was a God’s design, but from that moment, our relationship was on a different level. I respected him. That was the last time ever I had raised my voice with him.
Seated (L-R): Prof Kalam, Dr Sabapathy and Prof Kairy
Dr Faruquee standing in the middle- March 2006
August 2007: When he was with us, he could be trusted. That is the highest word I could use for a trainee. He always did what the unit needed and not what he just liked to do or was comfortable with. He had a good relationship with everyone in the unit. I am sure the trainees at that time would vouch for that. There were lighter moments too. I always remember the sight of him with his huge frame as a pillion rider with the frail Anuradha, our trainee riding the two-wheeler. So many memories. Nurses loved him. When he left as he shook hands and I said, ‘Faruquee, make your country proud of you’ He replied, ‘Yes Sir, also I want to make you proud of me’. From then on, every time we met, he would narrate all that has happened since our last meeting and the final words when we departed would be – ‘Sir, are you proud of me ?’
November 2007: After going back, Faruquee on behalf of the local organisations, organized a CME and invited me. I noticed that there were very few passengers checking in for the Dhaka flight from Kolkata, but did not realise that something was amiss. There was an impending cyclone warning that I had completely missed. There were heavy rains when we arrived in Dhaka, and I reached the hotel safe and slept through the night. Bangladesh experienced one of their worst cyclones that night.
Associate Professor Sajedur Reza Faruquee (1968-2023)
S Raja Sabapathy
When I woke up early the next day morning and came to the hotel foyer, I saw Faruquee sleeping on a sofa. I went up to him and asked him why he was there. He said ‘Sir, the whole night there was terrific cyclone and so many trees were uprooted, and all roads are blocked. I couldn’t commute by car and did not want to be late to meet you in the morning. So, I walked and slept on the sofa’. That was Faruquee, always making it happen. The CME was supposed to be in the hospital. I was the only speaker and scheduled to give 12 talks. However, there was no power supply in the entire hospital, and I wondered what we would do without the power to run the projector. Faruquee said, ‘Never mind, Sir. We will go. All will come. I have made arrangements. You just talk’. I was surprised to see about 75 surgeons. We just talked and discussed for 4 hours non-stop. By then they made arrangements in another hospital that had power supply.We moved over and then Faruquee said, ‘Sir, now you can give all the 12 talks that you were supposed to give’. I will never forget how he went about making things happen that day.
Faruquee making things happen at NITOR. Nov. 2007
June 2008: Faruquee was keen that Bangladesh should also be on the world stage and every time he met me used to ask me what he should do. It was so lovely to talk to him. You just have to tell him, and it would be done. First, he helped organize the Bangladesh Society for Surgery of the Hand on a sound footing. The best progress Bangladesh made was the quick entry into the IFSSH. From the word ‘go’ when the process was started it was smooth.I wondered if they could muster the annual membership fees. He and his young friends would say that it would be done. And they did it. India was one of the sponsors of their application and when they joined IFSSH, they almost paid as much as what India was paying. Having been part of the IFSSH leadership I will say that the entry of Bangladesh was one of the smoothest and quickest and they were the 50th member nation of IFSSH. I am sure it is the collective action of all but even when a team does it, some have to be at the front. Faruquee was one of them. He was so proud when it happened. At the 2010 Seoul IFSSH, the book on the history of the member nations was published he was proud that the flag of Bangladesh was there.

May 2022: Faruquee used to ask me to give a pathway to progress – not just for him
Associate Professor Sajedur Reza Faruquee (1968-2023)
S Raja Sabapathy
but for Bangladesh Hand Surgery. One of the things I had told him was to institute orations in the Hand Society in the names of the people who were the pioneers of Hand Surgery in Bangladesh. His respect for Prof Kairy and Prof Kalam was something to be believed. One day I got a message that the Bangladesh Society for Surgery of the Hand had created the Prof Kairy oration and that I must come to deliver the first oration. It was an invitation that I could not refuse.I agreed and was smiling to myself, proud of the trajectory they were taking. Faruquee gave a wonderful introduction on the organization of the oration and it was very touching. I wish they recorded that speech. Respect for teachers could not have been better expressed. During a conversation as to what could be the topic of the oration, Faruquee told me ‘Sir, please guide us as to how to make our work and BDSSH great’. So, when I jokingly suggested the topic as, ‘Roadmap for becoming a Hand Surgery Super-Power’, Faruquee said ‘Sir please keep that itself. One day with God’s Grace we will become a super-power’ In the talk the first requirement to become a super-power I listed was that leaders must have patriotism and pride in the institution they work. To explain the point, I put the picture of Faruquee and quoted the incident when Faruquee told me ‘Sir, please scold me but don’t scold my country’. That night Faruquee was not present at dinner. The next morning, I found him and enquired about his absence. He said that he had a call for a replant, and he travelled back to hospital (about 30 km from venue), finished the replant, and came back. He showed the photographs of the case and said, ‘Sir, I know this will make you proud of me than me being at dinner’. I was indeed proud of him.

The night before we left, they offered an honorarium for the oration. When I refused to have it, Faruquee said, ‘Sir if you refuse, we can’t do anything. But don’t make me sad. I am just following what you asked me to do’. When I asked him what is that I said, he recollected the conversation I had forgotten. He said ‘Sir one day when I was with you at Ganga, you told me, that instituting orations in the Hand Society is not only to honour the person on whose name the oration is created but also an opportunity to showcase your nation to an important person. When you invite the orator, please do not say that you are a poor country, and that you can’t afford his travel etc. You must pay an honorarium - not that the orator needs it, but it puts your association on a good pedestal’. It seems I had continued, ‘Starve if you would, but don’t say your country is poor. Act as if you are rich’. I had forgotten the conversation. He continued, ‘I am doing what you asked me to do Sir. Please accept’. I hugged him and accepted it. He then asked me, ‘Sir, are you proud of me?’. Sure, I was. That was the last time we met.
Associate Professor Sajedur Reza Faruquee (1968-2023)
S Raja Sabapathy
April 2023: We now have had visitors from 71 countries. Rarely does one person’s visit help forge a continuous relationship. After Faruquee, we have had 42 trainees from Bangladesh that have come to train at Ganga. Every 6 months we will get a note from Faruquee that Profs Kairy and Kalam have selected these candidates and to please help them come. He was so very proud that in a small way we are together contributing to capacity building of Bangladesh. His strength was his nature to follow up. If we miss a reply, you can be sure to have a WhatsApp reminder. I am sure the young trainees will miss someone like him.

May 2023: Faruquee was the face of Bangladesh Hand Surgery. He was the national delegate to the APFSSH council and had planned to come for the APFSSH meeting at Singapore, but he could not make it as he could not get Government permission to travel. Although he was upset, he made alternate arrangements for representing Bangladesh at the council meeting. We missed his talk on his replant experience in Bangladesh. It is a loss to all of us. He had applied to stay for a week after the meeting to observe hand surgery at the National University Hospital to further develop his unit. He was always thinking for the good of the country.

June 2023: I was packing my bags after the APFSSH congress in Singapore and I casually picked up my phone to look at WhatsApp messages and saw this dreadful message ‘Faruqee is no more’. Oh my God, I thought. I thought of the scene of him saying for the last time ‘Sir are you proud of me?’ and I could not help tears welling up in my eyes. What a great loss – loss of a good surgeon, a good son of Bangladesh, a good product of Ganga and more than that, loss of a great human being. Now sitting on the flight back, I decided to take out my laptop and put in words as to how much he meant to me personally and all of us at Ganga and how much he wanted for Bangladesh. He worked tirelessly for Bangladesh out of the limelight and the work done by him must be told to generations of trainees as to how one person can make a difference. As a mark of respect, we have named the Fellowship for Bangladeshi Surgeons at Ganga as the Faruquee Fellowship for Bangladesh Hand Surgeons so that we will keep his memory alive for posterity.

Sajedur Reza Faruquee - THE POWER OF ONE
S Raja Sabapathy, Editor-in-Chief, JHS-AP
Diversity in Hand Surgery
Jennifer Green

CONGRESS, Singapore, June 2023

The theme of the APFSSH Congress in Singapore was Diverse and Inclusive and two symposia were held to explore the concept of diversity and inclusion and how they affect our organisations, our recruitment of hand surgeons, the leadership of our organisations and, ultimately our patient care. The Congress Diversity Symposium was moderated by Ted Mah & Jennifer Green.

Margaret Fok opened the symposium with the evidence-based benefits of diversity - attracting the top talent, being more innovative and making better decisions; the data showing inequity of healthcare delivery to patients who are female or from minority cultures; and the strategies to improve diversity - visible role models, mitigating unconscious bias in selection to training and promotion; flexibility in the workplace and mentorship/sponsorship. Gillian Smith explained why the UK NHS has been vigorously promoting diversity in the medical workforce in the UK and creating opportunities for those from less economically privileged and more culturally diverse communities to enter medical school as they are more likely to work in areas of need. In the UK, doctor’s children are 24 times more likely than their peers to enter medicine.

Jai Sungaran spoke about the Australian Orthopaedic Association’s initiatives to increase the inclusion of culturally diverse members in leadership roles and to provide sponsorship for aspiring orthopaedic surgeons of diverse cultural backgrounds. The purpose being to provide better healthcare to Australia’s very multicultural community. Roohi Ahmad discussed how leaders can improve the diversity of their organisations by being positive role models and creating a culture where everyone is welcome regardless of gender, race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
Diversity in Hand Surgery
Jennifer Green
It was an honour to be able to convene this inaugural event at APFSSH and I would like to thank my co-moderator Ted Mah for his insightful questions and all the speakers who contributed to this important discussion about equity in healthcare.
(L-R): Ted Mah, Jai Sungaran, Roohi Ahmad, Margaret Fok, Gillian Smith & Jennifer Green

DePuy Synthes Asia Pacific hosted an event focussed on Gender Diversity - a first for APFSSH. The session was well-attended with excellent audience engagement and vibrant discussion. William Foster (Senior Director Regional Marketing, J&J, Singapore) provided an introduction followed by a global overview of diversity in orthopaedics (Jennifer Green) and a vibrant discussion moderated by Sophie Guerin Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, J&J APAC, Singapore.

The panel included orthopaedic women in leadership - Sara Ahmad (Malaysia), Jennifer Green (Australia), Jacqueline Tan (Singapore) and Dawn Chia (Singapore)
Diversity in Hand Surgery
Jennifer Green
(L-R): William Foster (J&J), Sophie Guerin (J&J), Aaron Villaruz (J&J), Dawn Chia (Singapore), Tunku Sara Ahmad (Malaysia), Jacqueline Tan (Singapore) & Jennifer Green (Australia).

and Aaron Villaruz (Vice President DePuy Synthes APAC, Singapore). The discussion explored all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, covering the following topics:
  • The challenges of the lack of female peers in a predominately male-dominated profession and the lack of women in leadership in surgical societies.
  • Opportunities for collaboration between the MedTech industry and surgical societies to decrease the gender gap - inclusive technology design, sponsored educational opportunities and industry advocacy
  • Changes in the professional landscape regarding the inclusion of female surgeons
  • How surgical societies can take a more active role in encouraging women to pursue careers in surgery
  • Actions that male allies can take to advance gender diversity in surgery.
DePuy Synthes/Johnson & Johnson have a 20-year history of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Their support in organizing and hosting this important discussion at APFSSH was greatly appreciated by the panel and the audience. As a member of the APFSSH Council and President of the International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance, I look forward to further championing diversity, equity and inclusion and developing a diversity strategy for APFSSH.
Jennifer Green, Secrertary, Australian Hand Surgery Society
Society in the Spotlight - Malaysia
Shalimar Abdullah

Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand (MSSH)

Hand surgery in Malaysia began as leprosy management, with a leprosarium established in Sungai Buloh near Kuala Lumpur. Patients residing around the hospital formed a community and engaged in flower and
plant sales to support themselves economically. Dr K Thambyrajah, a pioneer in Malaysian hand surgery, worked at Sungai Buloh Hospital in the 1960s, performing procedures to address high ulnar nerve lesions caused by leprosy. The legendary leprosy surgeon, Dr Grace Warren from Australia and "The Leprosy Mission of England" provided assistance and guidance to the leprosy centre.

Sungai Buloh Leprosarium Ward
Dr K Thambyrajah completed his fellowship with Dr Pulvertaft from the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and on his return joined the Orthopaedic Department of University of Malaya and established a microsurgical practice. The university has been running a Basic Microsurgery Course together with the National Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence for Research and Learning (NOCERAL) for the past two decades.

Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Hamid Kadir, obtained a fellowship under the hand surgeon Dr Campbell Semple in the UK and introduced microsurgery at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Under the banner of the Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and the College of Surgeons of Malaysia, he organized a Hand Surgery Course in 1983. The next Hand and Microsurgery Department was then established by the Ministry of Health in Kuala Lumpur Hospital in 1986 which later moved to Selayang Hospital. It was headed by Dr V Pathmanathan.

The Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand (MSSH) was formed on 3rd of March 1993, with an emphasis on excellence through hand surgery. Dr Abdul Hamid Kadir was the first President and Dr V Pathmanathan, the secretary. The motto of the society is “Excellence through Hand Surgery”. The society recognized the importance of collaboration with therapists, initially making them full members, but later adjusting the membership structure to align with international practices. The
Society in the Spotlight - Malaysia
Shalimar Abdullah
Malaysian Orthopaedic Surgery Association / College of Surgeons of Malaysia National Course on Hand Surgery
(L-R): SP Chow, Venkataswami, PC Leung, Campbell Semple, Chehab Helmi, Robert WH Pho, Khaw Joo Hwa, Abdul Hamid Abdul Kadir.

therapists has since formed their own society, the Malaysian Society of Hand Therapists (MSHT). Prof Dr Tunku Sara Ahmad designed the society’s logo in 2007 which portrays a weaving motif used in many local Malaysian foods and handicraft reflecting the interweaving of many different cultures and disciplines when working towards excellence in hand surgery.

Various training opportunities abroad and the involvement of international experts have contributed to the development of hand and microsurgery in Malaysia. MSSH organized the 1st Malaysian Conference on Surgery and Rehabilitation of the Hand in 1993, followed by the 2nd Hand Meeting, attracting renowned therapists and surgeons from around the world. The society has been actively promoting knowledge exchange through circle meetings, annual scientific meetings, and specialized courses. Subspecialty postgraduate courses, advancements in surgical techniques like WALANT (Wide Awake Local Anaesthesia No Tourniquet), and international collaborations have further enhanced the field.
Society in the Spotlight - Malaysia
Shalimar Abdullah
1st Malaysian Conference on Surgery and Rehabilitation of the Hand in 1993.

FESSH 2008 in Lausanne, Switzerland
(L-R): Sharifah Roohi Ahmad, Tunku Sara Ahmad, Shalimar Abdullah.
Notable achievements by the hand surgeons in Malaysia include the world's first successful arm and hand transplant on a one-month-old baby girl from her twin, on 18th May 2000 by Dr V Pathmanathan. It was also the world’s 9th successful hand transplant. Malaysian hand surgeons have also sought international benchmarking with candidates sitting for the FESSH (Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand) exams. Dr Vaikunthan Rajaratnam won the Churchill Livingstone prize whilst Dr Sharifah Roohi Ahmad topped the FESSH exam in 2008. Others who passed the exams were Prof Dr Tunku Sara Ahmad and Dr Shalimar Abdullah.

The society has also participated in international conferences, including organising the highly successful 10th Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand and 6th Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Hand Therapists in 2014 as well as annual APFSSH and IFSSH meetings.
Society in the Spotlight - Malaysia
Shalimar Abdullah
Cover of programme for the APFSSH and APFSHT 2014 Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian Hand surgeons and friends at the 2008 APFSSH Hong Kong posing at the hand print of Jackie Chan.
(L-R): Roohi Ahmad, Saw Kim Beng, Iskandar Mohd Amin, Tunku Sara Ahmad, Md Nawar Arrifin, Ng Eng Seng, Kamil Mohd Kasim, Shalimar Abdullah
Malaysian delegates at 2019 IFSSH Berlin
(L-R): Jeremy Prakash, Chai Siau Chiu, Liew Siew Khei, Roohi Ahmad, Shalimar Abdullah, Amir Ahmad, Ruban Sivanoli.
Amir Adham Ahmad and Shalimar Abdullah with Donald Lalonde at the IFSSH 2019 Berlin meeting.
Dr Donald Lalonde was a plenary speaker in the 2014 meeting and introduced WALANT surgery which was practised by Dr Shalimar Abdullah. Observing the practice, Dr Amir Adham Ahmad developed the technique further to include bony WALANT which has been recognised globally as an efficient and effective method for hand procedures.

In recent years, MSSH has adapted to online platforms for courses and symposiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The society remains dedicated to advancing hand surgery and fostering
Society in the Spotlight - Malaysia
Shalimar Abdullah
international collaborations. MSSH has been proactive in injury prevention and community engagement, particularly in reducing hand injuries caused by firecrackers during festive seasons.

Currently the society has 62 member surgeons with two emeritus members, Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid Kadir and Prof Dr Tunku Sara Ahmad. The Past Presidents have been Dr Abdul Hamid Kadir, Prof Dr Tunku Sara Ahmad, Prof Sharifah Roohi Ahmad, Prof Manohar Arumugam and Dr Rashdeen Fazwi. The aims of the Malaysian Society for Surgery of the Hand are enumerated below and with a dynamic group, a critical mass of members and God’s grace, we hope these goals can be achieved.
  • To have a uniformly high standard of care for hand conditions and injuries throughout the country, by training a sufficient number of good specialists.
  • To have a high standard of local postgraduate training in hand and microsurgery.
  • To aid, catalyze and foster formation of hand therapists groups for training and learning, nationally and internationally.
  • To form and maintain closer international links in the subspecialty.
  • To perform useful, cutting edge research.
  • To look into prevention and treatment of hand injuries in the local context.
  • To maintain a presence at all international conferences.
  • To publish pioneering work in all major hand surgery journals.

Shalimar Abdullah, Honorary Secretary, MSSH
Executive Body MSSH
President: Mohd Iskander Mohd Amin
Vice-President: Jeremy Prakash
Honorary Secretary: Shalimar Abdullah
Honorary Treasurer: Shams Amir Shamsul Bahar
Committee Members: Aniza Faizi Anoar, Mohd Sallehuddin Hassan, Ruban Sivanoli & Vijay Gopal
Auditors: Sharifah Roohi Ahmad & Tunku Sara Ahmad
Report from PSHT
Jose Ma. Rafael D. Ramos

Philippine Society of Hand Therapists (PSHT)

The Philippine Society of Hand Therapists (PSHT) is a non-profit organization of licensed occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) who specialize in the rehabilitation of hand and upper extremity injuries and disorders. The PSHT was founded in 2016 by a group of OTs and PTs who saw the need for a professional organization dedicated to advancing the field of hand therapy in the Philippines.

The PSHT's mission is to promote the highest standards of care in hand therapy, to provide education and training to OTs and PTs, and to advocate for the rights of hand therapists. The PSHT has a membership of over 100 OTs and PTs from all over the Philippines.

Early years and accomplishments: In its early years, the PSHT was active in organizing hand specialization workshops and other continuing professional development (CPD) activities. The PSHT also played a key role in organizing the 2017 Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy (APFSHT) Congress in Cebu. The APFSHT Congress is the largest and most prestigious hand therapy conference in Asia, and the PSHT was proud to host it in the Philippines.
APFSHT Meeting at the 2017 APFSSH Congress, Cebu, Philippines,
Challenges and setbacks: The PSHT has faced a number of challenges in its short history. One of the biggest challenges has been rallying people for support. The field of hand therapy is still relatively new in the Philippines, and many OTs and PTs are not aware of the benefits of specialization. As a result, it has been difficult to get
Report from PSHT
Jose Ma. Rafael D. Ramos
people to join the PSHT and participate in its activities. Another challenge that the PSHT has faced is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced the PSHT to cancel or postpone many of its events, and it has also made it difficult to provide education and training to OTs and PTs.
Reestablishing itself and looking to the future: Despite the challenges it has faced, the PSHT is committed to reestablishing itself and being more active in its role as a professional organization. The PSHT plans to resume its educational activities, to advocate for the recognition of hand therapy as a specialty, and to collaborate with other organizations to improve the quality of care for people with hand and upper extremity injuries and disorders.
Jose Ma. Rafael D. Ramos, President, PSHT

Philippine Society of Hand Therapists (PSHT)

This year has seen a post-COVID return to face to face meetings. The Australian Hand Surgery Society hosted the British Society for Surgery of the Hand at our annual meeting in Sydney in March. Professor Max Haerle from Germany was our guest speaker and together with the local faculty
Combined Meeting of AHSS and BSSH, Sydney, March 23
and our British guests provided a stimulating academic programme together with a very enjoyable social programme.

AHSS members also participated in the highly successful APFSSH congress in Singapore in June which highlighted the diversity and inclusion across the Asia-Pacific hand surgery community. At this congress, one of our members, Anthony Berger, was elected President of the
Session of Diversity at the AHSS-BSSH meeting, Sydney, March 23
APFSSH and we wish him and the APFSSH executive well for their upcoming terms. Later in the year, the AHSS will be convening the hand surgery programme at the Australian Orthopaedic Association meeting in Melbourne in November. with Scott Edwards and Ann Van Heest from the US attending to contribute to the programme and we are looking forward to another busy year in 2024 with combined meetings in Hawaii and India as well as our regular education programmes.
David McCombe, President, AHSS
Executive Body AHSS
President: David McCombe
Immediate Past President: Jeff Ecker
President Elect: Mark Ross
Secretary: Jennifer Green
Treasurer: Libby Anderson
Education Committee: Randy Bindra
General Board Member: Sarah Tolerton & Gregory Bain
Newsletter Editor: Jennifer Green
Archivist: Roland Hicks
BDSSH organised 3 CME cum instructional lecture course in 3 peripheral medical colleges in Bangladesh. The 4th one is going to be held on 30th September in Rajsahi medical college, in the Northern part of country. 4 member delegation of society led by President, joined IFSSH Congress in London. President also attended delegates’ meeting there. 2 members of our society joined in APFSSH conference in Singapore. 4 members joined in ISSH conference in India. At our last National conference, 269 surgeons including 4 foreign faculty joined. Our next National conference will be held on 18-19 November, near Dhaka.

ASM Monirul Alam, President, BDSSH

Executive Body BDSSH
President: ASM Monirul Alam
Vice-President: Krishna Priya Das
Honorary Secretary: Md Mohiuddin
Treasurer: Krishna Priya Das
Joint Secretary: Tanveer Ahmed
Events: The ISSH is celebrating its golden jubilee in 2023-2024 and the new executive committee assumed office on 1 Jan 23. ISSHCON 2023, the 46th annual meeting of ISSH was held at Chandigarh from 8-10 Sept 23 organised by the Department of Plastic surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh. Dr Mark Pickford from UK delivered the Dr B.B. Joshi oration on ‘Toe to Hand transfer’ and Dr Roger Cornwall from USA delivered the Dr Venkataswami oration on ‘Brachial Plexus Birth Injury’. Dr Michael Tonkin from Australia was awarded the Emperor Ashoka award and he delivered his talk on ‘Life of Congenital Hand Surgery’. Dr Mukund Thatte was awarded the ISSH award of Pioneer in Hand surgery for his contribution towards the growth of hand surgery practice in India and beyond. The golden jubilee was celebrated during this conference and 14 Past Presidents of ISSH were felicitated, A very innovative initiative of “Training the trainers” programme, the Presidential theme of Dr. Santosh Rath was conducted post conference. ISSH celebrated National Hand Surgery day on 23rd Aug 23 with the theme of Hand safety for our patients. The ISSH will host the APFSSH conference in September 2025 and World Congenital malformation symposium in 2026.

Education: The ISSH research wing, chaired by Dr Anil Bhat has completed 12 Indian normative database projects of upper limb which was the presidential theme of Dr. Mukund Thatte last year. The research wing has also taken up the project of developing Clinical practice guidelines for Indian hand surgeons for 2023-24. Our ISSH members, Dr. Mithun Pai from KMC, Manipal was awarded the BSSH travelling fellowship from the pool of APFSSH members & Dr. Sathya Vamsi Krishna from Bangalore was awarded ASSH travelling fellowship for 2023. The ISSH academic team headed by Dr Praveen Bharadwaj conducted various academic activities including a surgical video series every Sunday and a new initiative is on case-based discussion with expert faculty.

Anil Bhat, Secretary & Treasurer, ISSH
Executive Body ISSH
President: Santosh Rath
Vice-President: Rajendra Nehete
Secretary & Treasurer: Anil Bhat
Members-at-Large: Satya Swaroop Tripathy, Jeyakumar Periakaruppan, Raj Manas,
J Terrence Jose Jerome, Ajeesh Sankaran, Vijay Malshikare
Managing Trustee: S Raja Sabapathy
Trustees: Bhaskaranada Kumar, Ravi Mahajan
Activities in 2023: Since mid-autumn 2022, most academic activities held in Japan are returning to normal since Covid-19. In 2023, the JSSH was nominated as the guest society of American Association of Hand Surgery returning to normal from Covid-19 pandemic. In 2023, the JSSH was nominated as the guest society of American Association of Hand SurgeryAnnual (AAHS) meeting in Miami, January and many Japanese doctors attended the AAHS. We held the 66th Annual Meeting of the JSSH in Tokyo on April 20-21, 2023 in a great success with a hybrid style (in-person and on-demand). Most of the participants attended the meeting face to face in Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo. We also had foreign guests, 2 from USA, 2 from Europe, 1 from Australia and 1 from Korea in this meeting. Travelling fellowship programs with ASSH, HKSSH (Hong Kong), TSSH (Taiwan) and 1 from Hong Kong.

Combined Meeting of AHSS and BSSH, Sydney, March 23
From May 31 to June 3, many Japanese doctors attended the APFSSH meeting in Singapore. While meeting and chatting with Asian Pacific, USA and European friends in the Expo Venue Singapore, we felt that the situation was back to normal. An executive committee meeting was held three times (Aug 22, Jan 23 and Mar 2023) in webinar style under the leadership of current president of the JSSH, Prof. Norimasa Iwasaki of Hokkaido University.

Plans for 2024: Two Japanese fellows will attend the ASSH meeting at Toronto as JSSH-ASSH travelling fellow and 1 fellow will attend the KSSH meeting. The 67th Annual Meeting of JSSH will be held at Nara in 2024. Nara is the old capital city of Japan and is close to Kyoto and Osaka. We welcome all APFSSH members to feel the traditional atmosphere in Nara.

Toshiyasu Nakamura, JSSH Delegate for APFSSH
Executive Body JSSH
President: Norimasa Iwasaki, MD, PhD
Vice-President: Keiichiro Nishida, MD, PhD
Vice-President: Hiroshi Furukawa, MD, PhD
Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the resilience and commitment of the medical community has remained steadfast. The 2022 annual congress of the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand (KSSH) was a testament to our enduring dedication to medical advancement. Successfully held offline from 5-6 November 2022, the congress served as a hub for substantial academic discourse. Diverse sessions related to hand surgery topics sparked intensive academic debates and presentations, paving the way for notable academic accomplishments. Building on the momentum of last year, we continued with the innovative “Young Investigator’s Camp” and introduced the “Young Surgeon-Scientist session.” This platform allowed budding hand surgeons in academic pursuits to
KSSH members with Prof Goo Hyun Baek congratulating him on his retirement from the university
present their theses and gain invaluable insights from senior researchers. An additional highlight of the congress was the enriching lectures from our three invited speakers: Dr. Chin-Hsien Wu, Dr. Hisao Moritomo, and Dr. Andrew Chin Yuan Hui. Their insights brought global perspectives, amplifying the depth and breadth of our discussions.

This year, our Annual Congress of the KSSH is set to be held on November 4th, which is the time when the fall foliage is at its peak, at the Ewha Womans University Medical School in Seoul. This symposium promises to be a melting pot of knowledge exchange, and we eagerly anticipate meeting our members and welcoming various international speakers. Our leadership, President In Hyeok Rhyou, Chairman Dong Chul Lee, and General Secretary Bo Young Park, remain committed in ensuring this gathering is both educational and engaging for local and international attendees alike. Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that we have been selected as the host country for the 2027 APFSSH. Preparations are already in full swing to ensure a successful event.

Bo Young Park, General Secretary,KSSH
Executive Body KSSH
President: In Hyeok Rhyou
Chairman: Lee Dong Chul
Director: Bo Young Park
Member Society Updates - New Zealand
Michael Boland

New Zealand Society for Surgery of the Hand (NZSSH)

The IFSSH triennial meeting in London in 2022 was the first international meeting that a lot of New Zealanders managed to attend. Collectively as a society, we must congratulate the organisers for what was an amazing meeting in such turbulent times. The contingent that made it to the Congress are part of our New Zealand Society for Surgery of the Hand which currently stands at 105 members from both an Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgical background.

The first local meeting with international guest speakers was in December 2022. We had the Joint meeting between NZSSH and NZ association of Plastic surgeons in Wellington which was a great success and we extend our sincere appreciation to our International (Australian) guest speakers Anthony Berger for his amazing presentations and Greg Bain for his Virtual Contributions. 2023 has brought more stability and has allowed us to try to help ease the growing number of patients on our elective waiting lists. Many of our members attended the Triennial Congress of the federation in Singapore and with enjoyment of the dinner at the flower dome in particular. In August, in Queenstown on the South Island, Don Lalonde and Randy Bindra were the invited guests the combined Hand Society and New Zealand Orthopaedic Association continuing education meeting. For all who attended, the conference was a huge success, with great support from Industry, our members and from our Orthopaedic Colleagues.

At the recent Annual General Meeting, I stepped down and Simon MacLean was elected as the new representative of New Zealand to the Federation. We all wish Simon well in his new role. I was thanked for my contribution over a number of years.

Michael Boland, APFSSH Delegate, New Zealand
Executive Body NZSSH
President: Christopher Lowden
President-Elect: Jeremy Simcock
Imm. Past President: Tim Tasman-Jones
Secretary: Robert Rowan
Secretary-Elect: Allen Cockfield
Imm. Past Secretary: Sandeep Patel
2023 has been an exciting year for the SSHS. A momentous event was the 13th APFSSH/ 9th APFHST/ 8th APWA congress that we hosted at the Singapore Expo Convention Center from 31 May to 3 June. The theme was “Diverse and Inclusive”, The event featured 840 delegates and 171 speakers
SSHS Dinner Lecture by Singapore’s Director General - Health
(Clockwise from L) - Mark Puhaindran, Sreedharan Sechachalam, Anthony Foo, Winston Chew, Duncan Angus McGrouther, Soumen Das De, Sia Wei Tee, Andrew Chin, Kenneth Mak (Director General - Health), Tan Ter Chyan, and Dawn Chia
from 33 countries. Through the many lectures, free papers, workshops, and debates, we had the opportunity to learn from master clinicians, hone technical skills, and forge new friendships. Congratulations to the organizing team steered by Mark Puhaindran, Jacqueline Tan, and Andrew Chin for an extremely successful meeting!

As in previous years, the Society will continue to hold its quarterly case-based interactive sessions which bring together surgeons, therapists, residents, and fellows. A new initiative the SSHS took this year was a dinner engagement session with Singapore’s Director-General of Health, A/Professor Kenneth Mak. Colleagues from both the public and private sectors participated in a very stimulating and productive dialogue. There was plenty of food for thought, as we examined the future of our specialty, maintaining relevance, pushing traditional boundaries, and reconceptualizing surgical training. We look forward to working with our membership and relevant partners to address these issues.

Soumen Das De, Secretary, SSHS
Executive Body SSHS
President: Sreedharan Sechachalam
Vice-President: Robert Yap
Secretary: Soumen Das De
Treasurer: Renita Sirisena
Editor: Sia Wei Tee
Members: Duncan McGrouther and Dawn Chia
News from IFSSH
Daniel Nagle

International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH)

Many of the IFSSH Executive Committee members had the pleasure of attending the recently concluded Singapore APFSSH Congress. Professor Raja Sabapathy, IFSSH President-elect was in attendance in his role as President of the APFSSH. Doctor Sabapathy and the program committee headed by Mark Puhaindran and Jacqueline Tan hosted a very successful Congress. Professor Daniel Nagle, IFSSH President, Professor Jin Bo Tang the IFSSH Communications Director and Professor Gregory Bain IFSSH Asia Pacific Member-at-large were also in attendance. During the Congress, podium time was offered to Professor Nagle to speak of the IFSSH mission, which is to promote the worldwide exchange of hand surgery knowledge and expertise. To that end, the IFSSH is pleased to announce the first IFSSH Mid-term Course to be held in Quito, Ecuador from January 31 through February 3. This course is being hosted by the Ecuadorian Society for Surgery of the Hand and is led by Doctor Fidel Cayon. Dr. Cayon and his program committee are very busy putting together a great course.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind APFSSH members of the upcoming IFSSH Triennial Congress to be held in Washington DC from March 23- 28, 2025. The Program Chairs, Professors James Chang and Brian Adams, are very busy preparing an outstanding Congress. Washington DC is a great venue, and it will be even more amazing as the Congress is scheduled to be held during the annual cherry blossom festival.
Prof Daniel Nagle @ APFSSH 2023, Singapore
News from IFSSH
Daniel Nagle
There are over 3000 cherry trees planted along the Washington Tidal Basin which, weather permitting, will be in full bloom during the 2025 IFSSH Congress. An added bonus is that admission to all the Smithsonian Museums is free of charge. This Congress, like the London Congress, will be preceded by a pre-Congress traveling fellowships for worthy, young hand surgeons. These fortunate fellows will visit several hand surgery centers located in the Eastern United States and then attend the IFSSH Washington DC Congress.

Speaking of Triennial Congresses, the Singapore Society for Hand Surgery will be the host of the 2028 IFSSH Congress. Dr. Mark Puhaindran has informed me that the Congress venue will be in downtown Singapore. He assured me the Congress Committee is already hard at work preparing for the Congress. If the recent APFSSH Congress is any indicator, the 2028 IFSSH Congress will be phenomenal!

The IFSSH looks forward to collaborating with the APFSSH and its member societies as we pursue our mission of promoting hand surgery knowledge around the world. We thank the editors of the APFSSH Newsletter for the opportunity to bring its readers up to date on IFSSH initiatives.

Wishing you all the best,

Daniel Nagle, President, IFSSH
Executive Body IFSSH
President: Daniel Nagle
President-Elect: S Raja Sabapathy
Secretary General: David Warwick
Communications Director: Jin Bo Tang
Member-at Large (Asia-Pacific): Gregory Bain
Member-at Large (Europe & Africa): Francisco del Piñal
Member-at Large (Europe & Africa) David Shewring
Member-at Large (North & Central America) Jorge Clifton Correa
Member-at Large (South America) Aida Garcia Gomez
Immediate Past President Marc Garcia-Elias
Chief Administrator Belinda Smith
News & Events
Sandeep Sebastin
News & Events
Sandeep Sebastin
Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors
President: Anthony Berger tony.berger@vhsa.com.au
President-Elect: Fuminori Kanaya fkanaya@med.u-ryukyu.ac.jp
Secretary General: Alphonsus Chong alfchong@gmail.com
Treasurer: Hyun Sik Gong hsgong@snu.ac.kr
Imm. Past President: Raja Sabapathy rajahand@gmail.com
Members-at-Large: Clara Wong clara.wongclara@gmail.com
Jeremy Prakash jeremyp7@gmail.com
Michael Boland michael@handsurgeon.co.nz
Sandeep Sebastin sandeepsebastin@gmail.com

Jennifer Green Australia jennifer.green1312@gmail.com
Norimasa Iwasaki Japan niwasaki@med.hokudai.ac.jp
Pankaj Ahire India drahire@hotmail.com
Raymar Sibonga Philippines raymar_sibonga@yahoo.com
Sandeep Sebastin Singapore sandeepsebastin@gmail.com

Ms Bened Thong
Department of Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgery
National University Hospital, NUHS Tower Block
Level 11, 1E Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119228
Tel: +65 6772 5549
Fax: +65 6772 2358
E-mail: admin@apfssh.net