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Berita MPA eBMPA January 2010

4 February 2010

Message from the President

Malaysian Paediatric Association – 30 Years On…

Assalamualaikum and best wishes folks.

I trust that by now you have all received a letter from me, introducing members of our Executive Committee who will endeavor to serve you and our society for the next 2 years.The MPA was formed in 1979 and that makes us 30 years old in 2009. It’s a long period in the life of a professional organisation.

We have seen significant changes in the way children are treated in this country over this period of time. The concerns about their health, education and social needs have continued to receive constant attention. New Acts of Parliament have been drafted, new ministries formed and innovative approaches created. Those with gifted minds are promised new incentives while the learning disabled child ‘speak’ to remind us of his existence in his own disabled way. The number of Paediatricians has more than doubled, and our Paediatric health indicators have gone into the League of Elites.It will be a period of selfcongratulating and for the right reason too.

‘Neglected and invisible’ children

My personal professional experience in Malaysian Paediatrics only dates from 1991; that is not taking into account my personal life as a growing kid in one of the most deprived areas in Malaysia. The professional side of all these has been gratifying, but one does not have to look far into the country to realise that there remains a sizeable group of children and families who remained ‘lock-in’; away from the pleasures of economic prosperity, and shielded from public views except when their miseries make good stories to reflect acts of heroism and charity by some.

The World Health Organization has continued to make special mention about these ‘neglected and invisible’ children. The latest appeared in a report entitled the State of Asia –Pacific Children 2008. These arguments lead me to say that our combined efforts, intelligence and prosperity must make a difference to these unfortunate souls; among them are those malnourished, the children of indigenous population, the neglected fate of those living with single mothers; and perhaps including children who are emotionally ‘neglected’ thanks to their extremely tired mums and busy dads!

How can a 30-year-old association make a difference?

As a start, most of us see them in our daily work as they appear in our wards, clinics and consulting rooms with physical illnesses. We will begin to see more of them if we are prepared to look beyond their presenting complaints. Our medical students will see them as they travel during their elective postings. Our researchers will come across them as they document the statistics of their needs. Seeing these larger pictures triggers an alarm that the work of advocacy is long, continuous and arduous. A never ending process as long as we are prepared to look, and not to be contented with our own past achievements and self glory. We need to safeguard ourselves against resorting to an ‘easy’ pathway of knowledge; by looking into the minute issues of diseases, hardcore science and molecular biology and detached from the bigger picture of real people and their daily existence.

As an independent society consisting of like-minded individuals, we can have open access to others who are equally passionate about the fate of children but have special contributions that they can make. These include the artists, playwrights, editors of the media; all of whom should be in the bandwagon to improve child care through their special capabilities. That brings me to promise that we will continue to broaden the scope of our work, getting regional groups to be empowered to take up programs and getting more members to be spokespersons for the association. We will enlarge our working groups; form more task forces so that we can hold credible databases on matters pertaining to children in the hope that we can act as an influential  association; befitting the status of a 30-year-old mature organisation.

I will come back to you for help,folks.

Zabidi Hussin
President 2009-2011

For further reading, please download the full newsletter below:

  arrowMPA _Newsletter _Jan 2010 (English - pdf - 2555 Kb)   

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