The Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) was founded in 1979. Today, the association’s membership has increased in strength from a mere handful to more than 500 members.
Membership is made up of paediatricians, paediatric nurses and others involved in the care of the child.
MPA plays a major role in advocacy on all issues related to paediatrics and child health. This covers not only health, but social issues and current controversies as well, such as child abuse and neglect, inappropriate advertising targeted at children and adolescents, unsuitable TV programmes for viewing, injury prevention, substance abuse and cigarette smoking.
MPA is affiliated with the Association of Pediatric Societies of the Southeast Asia Region (APPSEAR), now renamed Asian Pacific Pediatric Association (APPA), and International Paediatric Association (IPA). Locally, MPA is affiliated with the National Council for Child Welfare.
1. Annual Scientific Congress
The annual scientific congress is the highlight of the activities of MPA. It is an important meeting that attracts paediatricians, paediatric nurses and allied health professionals from all around the country. Some are attended by paediatricians from neighbouring countries.
MPA has hosted and organised many regional and international paediatric congresses in Malaysia, such as the 9th World Congress of the International Association for Adolescent Health 27-30 October 2009, 1st ASEAN Congress of Paediatric Surgery in Johore Bahru in 2006, 9th Asia Pan-Pacific Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (APPSPGHN) in Kuala Lumpur in 2005, the 2nd Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (ACPID) at Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2004, the 10th ASEAN Pediatric Federation Conference in 2000, 6th Asia-Oceanian Congress of Child Neurology (AOCCNA) in Penang in 1999, 4th International Congress of Tropical Pediatrics (ICTP) in 1996, 5th ASEAN Pediatric Federation Conference (Trauma in Childhood) in 1990, 5th Asian Congress of Pediatrics in 1985, 2nd ASEAN Pediatric Federation Conference (Perinatal Issues in Pediatrics) in 1983.
2. Official Newsletter Berita MPA
The Berita MPA is the quarterly newsletter of the Malaysian Paediatric Association. It provides information on activities, conferences, social events, movements of paediatricians and latest scientific updates on paediatrics and medicine from the local and international front.
3. Promoting Professional Development
MPA has always made an effort to accumulate and disseminate information, which will be of benefit to its members in their professional development. Some of these include publication of MPA’s journal, large-scale studies as well as academic publications:
i. Malaysian Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health
ii. Very Low Birth Weight Study
iii. Masalah Pediatrik Untuk Jururawat – a book for nurses
iv. The Total Child – a publication for the public
Weekend courses and regular lectures/talks are organised for doctors and nurses nationwide to update them professionally.
Dr Siti Hasmah binti Mohd Ali Research Award – grant given to any medical student/s, medical officer/s or young paediatrician who wants to do research on child health and paediatrics.
MPA Travelling Fellowship for APPA member countries to support and provide suitable subspecialty training in Malaysian centres of excellence for a duration of 6 months to 1 year. Trainees have thus far come from Pakistan(1), Indonesia(1), Vietnam(1), Myanmar(2) and Papua New Guinea(1) placed in Haematology/Oncology, Paediatric Cardiology and Neonatology.
PREP Course conducted for paediatric trainees in preparation for postgraduate examinations.
The Sam Abraham Training Fellowship for local young paediatricians who aspire to have short training stints overseas.
4. MPA Website
The MPA website, which went online in 2001, is aimed at recording the history of MPA, increase the contact of the Association with the members and to provide a platform for its many educational activities. The new site is mpaeds.my
5. Community and Charitable Activities
MPA engages in many community and charitable activities, namely:
Malaysian Paediatric Foundation – aimed at encouraging research and teaching of paediatrics and child health; and to provide financial support to paediatric trainees and paediatricians who wish to carry out research.
Children’s Cancer Fund – a fund that began in 1984 with the hope of collecting enough money to start a halfway house for children with cancer in Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Through the years, the fund has helped many needy oncology patients particularly those at the Paediatric Institute, Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Rumah Pendidikan Kesihatan dan Pemakanan (RPKP) – started in 1979, the RPKP programme provided useful health and educational services for the poor in Sentul. Its basic objectives were to provide health, nutritional and social care for the disadvantaged population living in the area. The project has been concluded due to improved social status of the population concerned.
Positive Parenting – initiated in the year 2000, it is MPA’s first major, multi-faceted parent education programme. Recognizing the role of parents in raising healthy and well-adjusted children, the programme is aimed at generating greater understanding of children’s health, safety, nutrition and well-being through practical information, advice and tips. The programme works in collaboration other non-governmental and government organizations.
Borderless Pediatrics – Some members of MPA have traveled to war-torn countries on humanitarian missions, including Kosovo and Afghanistan, to help children and their families. MPA has provided partial financial support for members who participated in such activity.
“Make It Safe For Kids” Campaign – A collaborative child safety and injury prevention campaign with Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd with the support of Ministry of Health. The campaign aims to decrease the incidence of child injury in this country by raising awareness of child injury prevention amongst parents and child carers by providing them with essential information on proper child injury prevention techniques, first aid and resuscitation. Phase 1 in 2005 involved injury prevention at home, Phase 2 in 2006-7 involved road traffic injury. Working with the Department of Road Safety, the latter was accepted by the Cabinet Committee on Road Safety on 15th May 2006.