Dear Esteemed Members of MPA, friends and colleagues,
First, as the newly elected president of MPA for 2019-2021, I would like to thank ALL of you for entrusting me with the responsibility to lead MPA for the next two years.
My heartiest gratitude to MPA immediate past-president Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin and the Executive Committee members 2017-2019 for their outstanding leadership, commitment and dedication in carrying out the mandate and responsibilities of the association. We would like to thank Datuk Dr Soo Thian Lian for his many years of dedication and contributions to MPA, and Dr Khoo Teik Beng for his enormous contribution in ensuring the success of the just completed 15th Asian and Oceanian Congress of Child Neurology (AOCCN) in conjunction with the 41st MPA Annual Congress.
New Exco Members
I am proud to introduce our new MPA executive committee members 2019-2021; Vice-President Dr Selva Kumar Sivapunniam, Honorary Secretary Dr Tang Swee Fong, Assistant Honorary Secretary Dr Mohamad Ikram Ilias, 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, and two new members, namely, Dr Fauziah Zainal Abidin who hails from Sabah, and Dr Rakhee Yadav, a private paediatrician from the Klang Valley. Welcome Dr Fauziah and Dr Rakhee to the MPA Exco.
It is heartening that we have two new members in the Exco. There was no voting required during the election of office-bearers, with withdrawal of nominated members and reluctance of members to accept posts. MPA needs and encourages young members to be involved in MPA activities, to chair MPA state committees, the 19 subcommittees/task forces, and to be in the central executive committee. This is to ensure good succession planning so that young members can take over and lead the association in future.
Communication with members
In this fast moving digital era, MPA has upgraded its website www.mpaeds.my in order to communicate with our members more effectively. 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 to derive maximum benefits. In addition, the MPA Newsletter, printed and mailed to members quarterly, is another means to keep members informed of our activities and the developments in paediatrics and child health.
Continuous Professional Development
Since its official registration in 1979, MPA has been organising its annual scientific congresses for its members. This year, MPA successfully co-hosted the 15th Asian and Oceanian Congress of Child Neurology in conjunction with the 41st MPA Annual Congress. With wider collaboration with paediatric subspecialty societies and international organisations, the next three MPA annual congresses will also be international conferences. In 2020, the 11th Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES) Scientific Meeting will be held at KLCC Convention Center from 17-21 November 2020 in conjunction with the 42nd MPA Annual Congress. The organising chairman of the APPES conference 2020, our immediate past-president Assoc Prof Muhammad Yazid, has already assembled an impressive scientific programme with an equally impressive list of international and local speakers. Mark your calendar!
In the midst of vaccine hesitancy and refusal, re-emergence and rising numbers of vaccine- preventable diseases, MPA will co-host the Asian Vaccine Conference (ASVAC) 2021 in conjunction with 43rd MPA Annual Congress. The date and venue for the ASVAC have yet to be determined. Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail is leading this. Year 2022 will bring you the Asian Pan-Pacific Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (APPSPGHAN) Conference led by Prof Dr Lee Way Seah.
To encourage new paediatricians to do training attachments overseas, the MPA Sam Abraham Overseas Training Grant was created in 2008, with a grant not exceeding RM8000.00. MPA is also affiliated to IPA, APPA and APF where many training opportunities are available.
MPA supports research among its members and has established the Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali Research Award since 1998 to encourage research in the field of paediatrics and child health.
As the paediatric fraternity gets larger, MPA, together with the Malaysian Paediatric Foundation (MPF) started the MPF Mohd Sham Kasim Research Award in 2018 to promote and support more research among its member. There will be five awards per year and the maximum amount for each award is RM10,000.00. Members are encouraged to learn more about the awards on the MPA website and apply.
Our online journal, Malaysian Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (MJPCH) has been having regular online publications over the last two years. With more research, I hope that members will submit manuscripts to the journal and the journal can qualify to be indexed in the near future.
To promote child health, MPA has subcommittees on breastfeeding, Immunise4life, child protection, health of the underserved children…. among others. MPA would like to thank ALL who had been tirelessly lobbying for the provision and inclusion of pneumococcal vaccine in our National Immunisation Programme. Kudos to ALL!!
As I reflect on the activities that MPA has and will continue to provide to its members, the roles that MPA plays in contributing to improving the health and welfare of the children and the community in Malaysia, my mission is that more can be done in the next two years to better serve our members, the paediatric fraternity, the children and the community.
I would appreciate if members would offer new ideas or suggestions in improving our activities either at the national level or through the various subcommittees in order to achieve our missions.
Hung Liang Choo