Dear esteemed friends and colleagues,
I hope everyone has been keeping well during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected many aspects of our lives and the NEW NORMAL that we practice today. We have to innovate to adapt amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic, to minimise the disruption of health services that we provide while ensuring personal behavioural changes such as frequent hand washing, mask-wearing, and social/physical distancing, which help to stem the tide of infections, are carried out in our premises and clinics.
Besides the huge impact on health, physical and mental well-being, the COVID-19 pandemic also affected the economy and vulnerable industries such as manufacturing, tourism, hospitality and travel.
In the B40 households, job losses and financial concerns especially among the wage earners, self- employed, and those in informal work environment, may result in lack of healthy foods, gadgets for virtual learning and basic amenities for children
in these households. I would like to invite MPA subcommittees, task-force or individual members to start programmes to assist these children and to monitor their growth and development.
The pandemic has also affected many of the activities that MPA has planned for our members as well as the public. Many planned conferences and congresses have been cancelled, postponed or become virtual. MPA has continued to try new methods to deliver continuing professional development activities to members despite the movement control orders. Many webinars, local as well as international, have mushroomed over the last few months.
The 11th Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES) Scientific Meeting to be held in KLCC from 17-21 November 2020 in conjunction with the 42nd MPA Annual Congress is now postponed to 25-28 Nov 2021 at the same venue. As such, there will be no physical annual MPA congress for 2020. However, the MPA Annual General Meeting will still need to be held. The date and venue of the AGM shall be made known to all members as soon as they are confirmed.
It looks like COVID-19 is here to stay. If so, MPA needs to plan to organise hybrid digital and physical events in the future, where participants who are not physically present can get a `live’ stream of the sessions during selected hours for sessions featuring leading speakers for plenary sessions, symposia or opening ceremony. Looking forward, I hope that either a vaccine or a drug can be found soon to combat its spread and to decrease its morbidity and mortality if infected.
Hexa vaccine in NIP
On another note, our National Immunisation Programme will replace the current pentavalent DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccine with the hexavalent DTaP-IPV-HepB-Hib vaccine. The primary doses will be given at 2, 3, 5 months, and a booster dose at 18 months. The first dose of HepB vaccination at birth shall remain but the second and third dose at 1 and 6 months respectively will be omitted.
Meantime, take care, and stay safe.
Hung Liang Choo