For his excellent advocacy work in child and adolescent health, Dr N. Thiyagar (pic) received the outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award recently.
The senior consultant paediatrician and adolescent medicine specialists received the award from the Asia Pacific Paediatric Association.
However, due to logistics reasons, Dr Thiyagar, who is the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital (Alor Star, Kedah) department head, had received the award virtually.
Dr Thiyagar said paediatricians are the “voices of children” who must go beyond their daily clinical duties in a hospital to contribute to advocacy work for child health improvement.
“Children are the future of the country, and many non-communicable diseases in adulthood have their origin in childhood.
“Many are preventable if early interventional measures are instituted during childhood, and thus as paediatricians, we must speak up to advocate optimal child healthcare,” he said.
The award ceremony was held on March 12 during the Asia Pacific Congress of Paediatrics in Lahore, Pakistan, and the award is given to paediatricians from member countries triennially.
Dr Thiyagar, who is also Kedah’s State Consultant for Paediatrics Services, was nominated by the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA).
Dr Thiyagar, the former MPA president, added that paediatricians are indeed the voices of children of any nation.
Hailing from a small town of Mambang Di Awan in Kampar, Perak, he obtained his medical degree in 1990, before becoming a qualified paediatrician in 1998 and obtaining his fellowship in the subspeciality field of adolescent medicine from Australia.
His advocacy work in Adolescent Health had earned him the rare honour for a Malaysian to be featured in a profile article in the historical journal, The Lancet in April 2019.
He has been an active member of the MPA since 2002, including as the president from 2015 to 2017.
He has been serving as an expert panel member of the Identification and Management of Feeding Difficulties in Children (IMFeD) programme since 2013 and Immunise for Life (IFL) Advocacy training team since 2019.
Besides MPA, he is also the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) Kedah Branch chairman, vice-president of the Malaysian Association for Adolescent Health.
His advocacy and charitable work earned him the MMA Outstanding Public and Healthcare Services Award in 2021.
Source: The Star, March 17, March, 2022