NORTH EAST STATES BRANCH OF IADVL
The ‘North East States Branch of IADVL’ was formed by the name North East Regional Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists in 1988 as a representative body of the Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists hailing from the seven sister states of the north eastern part of the country. Subsequently, the name was changed to North East States Branch of IADVL. On the lines of DERMACON, annual conferences are organised at different parts of the north eastern region under the banner of CUTICON, NE states to promote scientific deliberations among delegates of the region to cater to thus academic needs. Every year the branch organizes an annual conference with a CME program to promote scientific deliberations amongst the delegates from this region and cater to their academic needs. The branch has successfully organized several National level workshops and training programs under the aegis of the parent association. It was conferred the privilege of hosting the XXVth National Conference of IADVL at Guwahati on 24 - 26 January, 1997. It was the Silver Jubilee Session of IADVL. Despite political disturbances and insurgency problems and two “Assam bandhs” during the Conference it was successfully concluded with the help of all concerned. The Conference was a memorable one for the members present.
To cater to the academic thrust of the members, another confrence "MID-CUTICON" is held every year at different parts of the region, on a smaller scale, during the month of June or July
The founder President of North East (NE) States Branch of IADVL was Dr. Tarun Chandra Saikia. Dr Jogesh Das was elected the first Secretary of the branch. The branch was formed with six founder members only. The first annual conference of the branch was held in Guwahati on the 10th and 11th of November, 1988. The inaugural conference was attended by 31 delegates from the member states - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
Dr. Tarun Chandra Saikia in his presidential address had mentioned –“In Assam before Independence, the specialty of Dermatology and Venereology was not given much importance and the specialty was underdeveloped. In Berry White Medical School, the only teaching Medical institute in undivided Assam (North Eastern India) where common skin diseases were treated under Medicine Department and Venereal diseases were treated under Surgery Department. There were no definite curriculums in teaching and these specialties were in dark. The Missionary Hospitals in Shillong and Jorhat and few other such hospitals did some pioneer work in the treatment of leprosy patients.
The first Medical College was established in Assam in 1947 at Dibrugarh. The humble beginning of the Department of Dermatology was in 1957 in Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh. At first Dermatology and Venereology was separate but later on amalgamated under the same administrative Head. These again were in small cubicles where “look, diagnose and prescribe” was the only ritual and there were no side laboratories. There were no trained personnel and the subject was neglected and was at the tail end of the Medical organisation. But the response of the patients was promising. There were plenty of materials worth studying. The first case of sporotrichosis was reported from Assam Medical College in 1958 and later a series of cases of this rare fungal disorder has been reported in 1976.”
Dr Tarun Chandra Saikia joined as Dermatologist in Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh in 1957 after completion of postgraduate diploma studies in Andhra Medical College and training course in Dermatology from Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of Dermatology in Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh in the year 1961. After completion of MD course in Dermatology and Venereology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in July 1964 he was promoted as Professor of Dermatology in Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh on 20th September 1966. Dr Tarun Chandra Saikia was the first qualified Dermatologist of North Eastern India.
By the year 1973-74, another three qualified (MD) Dermatologists came to the region. They were Dr Jogesh Das, Dr Kamala Kanta Das and Dr K. N. Barua. The scenario started changing particularly in Medical Colleges. Various activities like Anti Leprosy day, School survey and Slum area survey for Leprosy, Skin health camp, CME Programs, Symposium, Seminars, Regional Leprosy Seminar, etc could attract the junior doctors immensely. The Dermatology department, particularly in Gauhati Medical College, could secure a special status and was separated from the Department of Medicine subsequently. In early eighties, various dermatosurgical procedures were carried out particularly in Gauhati Medical College by Dr. K. N. Barua. Pulse therapy in pemphigus vulgaris was started under the direction of Dr. J. S. Pasricha by Dr. K. N. Barua in the early eighties when the concept of pulse therapy was not accepted by most of the dermatologists of our country.
Post-Graduate teaching in dermatology was started in Gauhati Medical College in 1988 after 81 years of Post-Graduate teaching in India at JJ Hospital and GMC, Bombay in 1907. Post-Graduate teaching in Assam Medical College was started in 1994-95 after 6 years of Post-Graduate teaching course in Gauhati Medical College in 1988. As of now, this specialty in North Eastern region is the most sought after subject by the junior doctors for Postgraduate course.
Since its inception, the NE States branch of IADVL has continued to flourish and expand each year. However, the members of Manipur moved away from the branch in 1996 and formed a separate state branch. The Branch has four local units functioning under it – Guwahati City Chapter, Dibrugarh Chapter, Barak Chapter & Shillong Chapter. The total strength of the branch at present (April 2017) sits at 136 members of which 108 are Life Members (LM) & 28 are Provisional Life Members (PLM)