A New Dawn
Dear Members of MPA, friends and colleagues,
Firstly, as the newly elected President of MPA for 2021-2023, I would like to thank all of you for entrusting me with the responsibility to lead MPA for the next two years.
A Very Happy Roaring New Year of the Tiger!
My heartiest gratitude to MPA immediate past-president Dr Hung Liang Choo and the Executive Committee 2019-2021 for their outstanding leadership, commitment and dedication in carrying out the mandate and responsibilities of the association. We want to thank Dr Fauziah Zainal Abidin and Dr Rakhee Yadav for their contributions during the last two years.
Congratulations and kudos to Prof Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin for his enormous contribution and tireless work as the organising chair of the recently concluded successful 11th Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES) Biennial Scientific Meeting in conjunction with the 42nd MPA Annual Congress. It was an entirely virtual meeting with resounding success after a delay of one year.
I am proud to introduce our new MPA Executive Committee 2021-2023: Vice-President Dr Mohamad Ikram Ilias, Honorary Secretary Dr Tang Swee Fong, Assistant Honorary Secretary Dr Intan Juliana, Honorary Treasurer Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, and committee members Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, Dr Noor Khatijah Nurani, Dr Thiyagar Nadarajaw, Dr Ong Eng-Joe, Prof Dr Muhammad Yazid and a new kid on the block, Dr Fahisham Taib.
The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all the planned programmes in 2020 and 2021, yet we persevered, and virtual technology (Zoom) was the new format.
We did well with several talks, all via the virtual platform, and I firmly believe this new-age way of knowledge transfer will stay on. MPA’s website (www.mpaeds.my) has been actively visited by members. It has the ‘members only’ section where association activities, announcements, current issues, guidelines, protocols, and slides on scientific meetings are shared. Members are encouraged to access our website.
Despite the pandemic, MPA will continue organising its annual scientific congresses for its members. As mentioned before, MPA successfully co-hosted the 11th Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES) Scientific Meeting on 17-21 November 2021 in conjunction with the 42nd MPA Annual Congress. The scientific meeting congress was done entirely virtual, and it was a success with more than 1000 delegates (both international and local).
The 15th Congress of Asian Pan-Pacific Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (APPSPGHAN) Conference led by Prof Dr Lee Way Seah will be held at Sabah International Convention Centre, Kota Kinabalu. Our 43rd MPA Annual Congress will hold this hybrid meeting on 12-15 October 2022. We have lined up exciting talks with leading experts from the Asia Pacific, and the topics appeal to the general paediatricians as well. Please visit the website at https:// appspghan2022.org/index2.php. Prepare your vaccine passport and join us physically at the Land Below the Wind.
Apart from our annual congress, we will be conducting regular talks and one-day seminars regionally. We are planning to have quarterly two-day courses akin to the long forgotten Paediatric Rendezvous Series in early 2000. There are plans in the pipeline to have courses or separate academic tracks during congress tailored to meet the needs of our nursing colleagues and the medical students.
Research grants & journal
We encourage members to grab any research grant opportunities offered under the MPA banner. Information about these opportunities will be constantly updated through our MPA website and the Berita MPA. We have established the Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali Research Award since 1998 to encourage research in the field of paediatrics and child health. Then MPF Mohd Sham Kasim Research Award started in 2018 to promote and support more research among our members. There will be five awards per year, and the maximum amount for each award is RM10,000. I encourage the young paediatricians to take up the challenge and bid for the awards. Please revisit our website for the details.
Our online journal, the Malaysian Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (MJPCH), has had regular online publications over the last two years. I sincerely hope that members will submit manuscripts to the journal with more research.
Calling young ones
I have decided to start an unofficial group and had chats with young paediatricians to join aboard MPA. We want to know what you wish from MPA and how you can contribute to MPA, making it more exciting to the younger generation. MPA has and will always strive to reach out to young paediatricians. MPA values current members and would love to attract new members. I also hope that all members feel inclusivity when taking part in all MPA events.
MPA has been a strong advocate in promoting and improving the health and welfare of children and the community in Malaysia. We have been doing this through our various subcommittees and collaboration with MOH/MOE and some NGOs. We have also been actively involved in child advocacy programmes with APPA and IPA.
Community outreach programme has always been close to my heart. I want to encourage all the state subcommittees to have at least one community programme, adopt or have regular visits to the nearest orphanage or have a joint school health programme. We should not forget the unfortunate, marginalised, unrepresented communities among us, urban or rural, in our pursuit of knowledge. They need us more than ever in this never-ending pandemic.
I want to take this opportunity to encourage members of MPA to be actively involved either through state or national level activities. I would also appreciate it if members would offer their suggestions and comments in improving these activities. Please call us, message or drop a line at our email: mpaeds@ gmail.com. Work with my committee and me to make MPA more inclusive and relevant to all!