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Highlighting the Importance of Improving Public Health Systems at MyWHA Conference

14 Mar 2022

Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim (in the photo above) was one of the three keynote speakers at the MyWHA conference.

Amidst this life-changing pandemic that has swept through the world, the discussion surrounding public and global health has never been so ripe for discourse. With that in mind, the Asian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) of International Medical University (IMU) organised the 3rd installment of the Malaysia World Health Assembly Simulation (MyWHA) conference on 11 February 2022 – 13 February 2022. In MyWHA 2022, the theme selected was “Emerging Stronger” as the organising team wanted to highlight the importance of improving our public health systems as we sought to emerge from this Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety of all the conference guests and delegates, this conference was conducted fully online using platforms such as Zoom and Discord to facilitate the smooth running of the event. The Conference attracted 41 delegates and 7 Council Chairs as its participants.

With the aim of stimulating students from all backgrounds to collaborate, brainstorm ideas and tackle some of the most pressing public health concerns of our time, the conference consisted of multiple keynote speaker sessions followed by robust council discussions. The organising team also known as the Secretariat, successfully invited our very own Vice Chancellor of IMU, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Baba to be our Guest of Honour and give the opening address to officiate the MyWHA 2022.

Moreover, MyWHA 2022 also witnessed sharing sessions by three keynote speakers who are themselves some of the leading voices in the field of public health today, namely Prof Leo Yee-Sin, Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim and Dr Feisul Idzwan Mustapha.

Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Baba President, IMU Health Sdn Bhd Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), IMU Education Guest of Honour

Prof Leo Yee-Sin

Executive Director, National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) Singapore Keynote Speaker #1: The Dengue Dilemma
Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim bin Sulaiman Pro Vice Chancellor, Research (IMU) Research Director, Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) Keynote Speaker #2: Global Response to SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Achievement, Issues and Challenges

Dr Feisul Idzwan Mustapha

Deputy Director (Non-Communicable Diseases), Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia Keynote Speaker #3: The Cardiac Conundrum

Aside from the insightful sharing sessions, the participants also had the opportunity to discuss amongst themselves solutions to tackle a particular public health issue according to their councils.

Council Discussions
First council World Health Assembly (WHA) Focused their attention on overcoming the burden of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
Second council Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Zoomed in on the intricacies of the Dengue problem
Third council Crisis Committee Tasked to find solutions towards overcoming a worldwide pandemic that was set in the near future of the year 2044.

All in all, the conference delegates had the opportunity to exchange their ideas whilst forming bonds with one another which hopefully will last way beyond the conference period.

Overall, we believe that this event has achieved its intended outcome that is mainly being a platform where our conference delegates have gained much knowledge from our keynote speakers regarding the workings of public health and the challenges it faces. Moreover, through the council discussions, the delegates had the opportunity to use the knowledge they have gained to brainstorm steps they would take to tackle that particular public health issue in an effective and realistic way. At the end of all six council discussions, it was an achievement that all three councils, namely WHA, ASEAN and the Crisis Committee came into an agreement on what steps to take to tackle their council’s respective public health issue. Based on feedback we have received, most of our delegates found that the event had gone smoothly and they all had lots of fun and memorable moments through the conference. Some even suggested that the next installment of MyWHA should be held physically if the pandemic situation allows. All in all, we from AMSA IMU are proud that our flagship event has been fruitful and this is in no part all thanks to the hard work and dedication shown by our Secretariat members who have been working on it for the past five months.

Written by Jaya Verman A/L Vishvanathan,  Vice President and Samuel Chau Jun Hao, President, AMSA, IMU

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