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IMU Hosts 9th Annual National Paediatric Research Conference: A Paediatric Bioethics Symposium

02 May 2017

3-4 March 2017- This year’s 9th National Paediatric Research Conference was held at the International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur with the theme “Who’s Responsible for Our Children?”. This National Paediatric Bioethics Symposium was attended by about 150 delegates from Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore that included healthcare professionals, academics, researchers, advocacy organisations, administrators, and students. The event brought together delegates to deliberate and share perspectives and experiences on current ethical and paediatric research issues affecting children. This first ever paediatric bioethics conference aimed to promote discussions and free exchange of research ideas while cultivating and supporting paediatric research in the country. It provided participants a broader dimension and understanding in paediatric bioethical issues parallel to its many current controversies. For example, there were calls to mandate vaccines in the country after an outbreak of preventable diseases; while some doctors do not agree that patients should always be told the truth. Furthermore, the slashing of healthcare budget did not help the many unresolved dilemmas. We successfully engaged delegates into such topics with experts in the field. To encourage research in paediatrics together with bioethics we further invited participants to present their research papers. This year’s event had a record of 26 abstracts received. Of them six were chosen for oral presentations. The winners of best three presentations were:

Oral Presentations
Characteristics of Hospital Death Among Malaysian Children with Life Limiting Illness (Farah Khalid et al. from Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur)
Incident Reporting Culture: Do NICU nurses in Malaysia report medication error (Chew Chii Chii et al. from Clinical Research Centre, Perak)
Fertility preservation intervention (Calvin Ho Wai Loon et al. from Centre of Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore)
Judges: Our esteemed invited speaker Prof John D Lantos (Director of Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center of Children’s Mercy Hospital & Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine), Prof Thong Meow Keong (President, College of Paediatrics), and Prof Gerard Loftus (Emeritus Professor Galway University Ireland & Adjunct Professor IMU).

Poster Presentations
A survey on Learning Needs of Doctors and Pharmacist towards off label Prescribing in Children at Sungai Buloh Hospital (Balan S et al. from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang)
Exploring Malaysian Parent’s Plan on Sleeping Arrangement with their Newborn (Chang Teo Chang et al. from Allied Health Science College Sultan Azlan Shah, Perak)
Exploring Vaccination hesitation amongst parents in Malaysia (Firdaus Abd Rahman et al. from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor)
Judges: Prof John D. Lantos, Dr Zilfalil (College of Paediatrics), and Dr Azanna Kamar (Universiti Malaya)

A total cash prize of RM5000 were given out to the winners. The conference ended with a discussion and agreement to the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Engaging Healthcare Professionals in Paediatric Bioethics. John Lantos, Thong Meow Keong, Erwin Khoo (Organising Chairperson), Shaikh Saifuddeen (Fellow, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia), and Mahaletchumy (National Bioethics Council of Malaysia) formed the panel which led the discussion. The College of Paediatrics, Academy of Medicine Malaysia seek to disseminate this statement to all relevant stakeholders in Malaysia.

One eminent point of the declaration is the commitment of our fraternity to the initiation and setting up of clinical ethics committee which serve to provide clinical ethics consultancy. We will see this continuous effort in the upcoming Malaysian Paediatric Association annual congress meeting. A pre-congress workshop organised by the College of Paediatrics to introduce clinical ethics committee is in the planning stage.

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