The Southern Chapter of the Indian Society of Nephrology was formed in the year 1979 in a meeting held at the Seminar Hall of Madras Medical College.The Chapter was formed with the efforts of Professor Amaresan and members of the four Southern states ie Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The First Department of Nephrology was started in December 1971 at the Govt General Hospital and the Premier Institute of Madras Medical College by Prof. M.S.Amaresan after qualifying as the First Nephrologist in Tamil Nadu Medical Service. The Nephrology Department was started with facilities for peritoneal dialysis,& hemodialysis with a staff comprising of one lecturer, one tutor , a staff nurse and a dialysis technicianIn the South , the other prominent centre of renal care was Christian Medical College Vellore . Renal transplants were performed only at CMC Vellore which did the first renal transplant in the country.
The contemporary situation in the West was a regular transplant programme from 1954! The brighter side of the situation was the wide scope of development available and the exciting challenge of making it possible. This lead to the compelling need for keeping abreast of the fast developing advances not only in the West but also in the contemporary centres in India for a healthy competition which would culminate in successful achievements. Exchange of scientific ideas and regular interactions was mandatory for the growth of the superspeciality which was still in the infant stage.
Indian Society of Nephrology founded by Prof. K.S. Chugh and Dr. P. Koshy in 1970 was the only Scientific Society which was serving as the platform for the nephrologists to interact., once a year.
In a developing superspeciality like Nephrology with rapid scientific advances, more intense scientific interactions between the nephrologists were essential for the dissemination of knowledge and progress of patient care. The need for a cosier group was favoured and thus the Southern Chapter of Indian Society of nephrology was conceptualized 25 years ago by Prof. M.S. Amaresan and was established with the enthusiastic acceptance of the idea by Prof. J. C. M. Shastry, Prof Thomas Mathew and Prof Gopalakrishnan. The southern states to be included in the Chapter were as defined by the Government of India – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry. The wider coverage of the Chapter owes itself to the foresight of Prof K.S. Chugh who favored Regional Chapters and negated the idea of city chapters.
The Southern Chapter of Indian Society of Nephrology was inaugurated at the seminar Hall of Madras Medical college byDr. H.V. Hande , the then Minister of Health Tamil Nadu. Prof. K.S Chugh , then Secretary for the Indian Society of Nephrology graced the occasion.
The scientific sessions that followed the inauguration included Elizabeth Mathai Endowement Lecture on Pathophysiology of Acute Renal Failure by Prof. Neil R. Kurtzman, Lupus Nephritis By
Prof. K.S.Chugh , a symposium on Hypertension Chaired By Prof. Sam G. P. Moses and a panel discussion on Chronic renal failure chaired by Prof. M.S. Amaresan.Prof.MS Amaresan was elected unanimously along with the other office bearers, as the Chairman of the Society, a post which he was to hold for the next 6 years. Prof. J.C.M Shastry was the Co Chairman , Prof Thomas Mathews and Prof. Gopalakrishnan were the Vice Chairmen, Dr. J. H. Bala Singh was the treasurer and. Prof. B. R. Nammalwar was the Secretary, a post he remained favored, for the next 6 years.
A separate Constitution was framed, based on the Constitution of the ISN.
The main objective of the Chapter were to present the free papers and scientific materials a few months before the meeting of the Indian Society of Nephrology, so that the members of the Southern Chapter would have ample opportunity to discuss their research papers and up-date their knowledge in Nephrology.Over the years we have grown out of the shadow of the ISN to have an identity of our own ,with the increasing number of original research papers presented and the number of International faculty being invited to take part in the Annual conference.The other objectives of the Chapter are to promote scientific programs in nephrology like co-operative research programmes; public awareness programmes; to suggest various schemes and plans to Educational Institutions, Universities, Medical Councils and the Governments, for improvement of patient-care and implementing development programmes, in connection with the science of nephrology and its allied illness and remedial measures. It also has an objective of acting as data-collection and preservation centre of various kidney diseases, dialysis and transplants from southern states.
Since its Inception, The Southern Chapter has been making steady progress in not only in its expansion by increasing memberships but truly in the scientific objectives to which it has committed , justifying its conceptualization. Annual Conferences are a regular feature. A Continuing Educational Programme precedes the Annual Conference .
Preventive Nephrology is one offspring which needs to be nurtured with the greatest commitment possible for it is here that the hope of a developing country like India lies, not to speak of even the developed countries like United States. There is the disturbing fact of the growing incidence of Diabetes and Hypertension , the two major contributors to End Stage renal Disease. The present trend sets India to be the major centre for Diabetes.
A heartening fact is the simpler cheaper ways of early detection of diabetes, hypertension, enforcing tight control, use of protective agents- ACEI & ARB and promoting public awareness on the same.Prof. M.K. Mani has individually set the trend to the community oriented service and demonstrated positive results which should encourage the Chapter to develop it as a Programme.
The Chapter in concurrence with the its sister and parent Chapter has an erstwhile role in assisting the Government in the policies related to Organ Donation. It is unfortunate that so much of good work done is lost due to the absence of an organized documentation and maintenance of registries. Only scientific bodies like the Chapter who can appreciate the enormous scientific wealth of information that can be made available can lay the ground for the registries.
With leaping scientific advances especially in the field of transplant immunology., the easy access to the developments aided by information technology through the internet, the increasing number of young nephrologists, the Chapter has exciting years ahead , promised with challenges to prove the worthiness of its existence.