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11th National Paediatric Research Conference Brings Together Local and International Speakers

15 Dec 2021

A/Prof Dr Erwin Khoo (in the photo above) is the Scientific and Organising Chairperson of the Conference

The International Medical University’s Department of Paediatrics with its Centre for Bioethics and Humanities in collaboration with the College of Paediatrics, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia and the International Association of Bioethics organised and hosted the 11th National Paediatric Research Conference: 2nd National Paediatric Bioethics Symposium on 17 – 21 November 2021 which includes a free 3-day pre-conference webinar to the public.

The virtual Conference took its inspiration from the original symposium in 2017 where a declaration was made to formally introduce Paediatric Bioethics in the Country. This year’s theme of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was timely and important, as the delegates came together as one to collaborate, coordinate, share lessons learnt and help one another to explore the many intersections of bioethics and health humanities in the worlds with which they engaged in a new ‘normal’ post pandemic.

It was indeed a privilege to host 10 international speakers from US, Australia, Sri Lanka, Norway, Hong Kong, UK, Thailand and Singapore as well as 65 registered participants from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Australia and UK. As the Scientific and Organising Chairperson, A/Prof Dr Erwin Khoo welcomed Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman and Prof Dr Zabidi Hussin, Pro-vice Chancellor of the International Medical University, who were in the audience, during the welcome address. Dr Khor Swee Kheng, Associate Fellow, Global Health Programme, Chatham House, UK gave the welcome keynote which addressed the ethics, politics, policies and health following the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his keynote, Prof Dr John Lantos, Professor of Paediatrics at University of Missouri in Kansas City, Founding Director of the Children’s Mercy Hospital Bioethics Center and Glasnapp Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Bioethics, US, questioned if we can afford diversity in response to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Prof Paul Komesaroff, Physician and Professor of Medicine at Monash University and Executive Director of Global Reconciliation, highlighted the science in the era of COVID-19 during his keynote.

Prof John Lantos, Prof Brian Carter and Prof Paul Komesaroff gave three workshops on clinical ethics consultation service. The workshops generated healthy and lively deliberations. The MYR 1000 book prize winner for the Oral Paper went to Dr Avinder Kaur from University Malaya with her title, “A Retrospective Case-control Study of Inpatient Healthcare Service Utilisation of Children with Congenital Anomalies at a Tertiary Hospital”, which highlighted the increased healthcare utilisation of children with congenital anomalies as well as its public health importance of the implication of congenital anomalies on the healthcare system.

In the closing ceremony, A/Prof Dr Erwin Khoo thanked International Medical University for an internal grant obtained. The grant was used to sponsor participants who submitted abstracts before the 1 November deadline and Council Members of the College of Paediatrics, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. The remaining grant will be used to develop and improve the quality of teaching of clinical ethics and its provision in the country.

Since the conclusion of the Conference, many participants from both within and outside the Institution, articulated positive feedback and looked forward to more partnerships together. Many collaborative works had since begun with A/Prof Dr Erwin Khoo, leading the initiatives. A formal report of the Conference will be submitted to a Tier 1 international peer-review journal in due course.

Participants’ Feedback
Kumanan Santhrakumaran It was helpful and knowledgeable.
Lee Khai Yin Good
A Jai Mohan CA Nayar High quality, interesting and engaging.
Woon Teck Kim Excellent
Katherina Asha Raj Fantastic conference! Very well executed and organised. Extremely useful insights gained throughout ! Congratulations to the organising team !
Jimmy Lee Kok Foo Excellent international and national speakers who are experts in bioethics.
Mohamed AbdElwahab Mohamed Excellent workshops, interactive with a real professional in bioethics
Soe Soe Aye Excellently programme. The Speakers are well renowned and experts in their respective areas. Overall quality of this workshop is excellent.
Mohd Fahmi bin Ellias Interesting topics and fruitful discussions
Supathiratheavy Rasiah Good. Thanks
Cheah Fook Choe Good
Chan Lee Lee Case discussion using real/hypothetical scenarios are useful.
Kuan Geok Lan Good workshop

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