The Health December 2020 | Page 26


The Health | december , 2020

| People |

Global recognition for Sungai Buloh hospital ’ s Covid-19 team

The untiring and commendable

efforts of the Covid-19 team at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor are not only being appreciated by all Malaysians but also recognised globally .
The hardworking team won the Global Health Awards ( GLA ) 2020 recently for its efforts in fighting the pandemic .
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah congratulated Sungai Buloh Hospital Infectious Disease Department head Dr Suresh Kumar and Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Department head Dr Shaiful Azman Zakaria as well as the whole of Covid-19 team at the hospital for the recognition .
“ Heartiest congratulations to Dr Suresh Kumar and Dr Shaiful Azman and the whole of Covid-19 team at Sungai Buloh Hospital for the recognition at the Global Health Awards 2020 . Very well-deserved indeed !

Malaysian student bags prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Universiti Malaya final year medical student , Subashan Vadibeler , has been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford , UK .
The 24 will be heading to Oxford in October 2021 for two years where he will be pursuing two master ’ s degrees , a Master ’ s of Science in International Health and Tropical Medicine and a Master ’ s of Science in Integrated Immunology .
“ It ’ s a great feeling – I called my mum and my sister when I found out ,” he said .
During his interview with Rhodes representatives , Subashan was asked a mix of personal questions and questions about his career goals .
“ The interview went okay and I had a hunch that maybe I had a chance but there were also eight other finalists .
“ I managed to talk to them and they seemed pretty great but it was quite a surprise ,” he said adding that the experience has been “ unreal ”.
In medical school at UM , Subashan has mostly seen patients with dengue and wants to further study the mosquito-borne disease .
Subashan , who is from Ipoh , told the Malay Mail his dream is to eradicate dengue .
Dr Suresh Kumar
“ I ’ m hoping to study the immunology of dengue and in future I hope to eradicate dengue and other neglected tropical diseases and I ’ m working towards that pathway in my career ,” he said .
He acknowledged the support and guidance from his university ’ s medical faculty , saying this opportunity would not have been possible without their help .
Passion for infectious diseases
UM Medical Faculty Dean Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman took to Twitter to share the good news .
“ I realise that other Malaysian students can ’ t afford the same privileges so they can reach out to me anytime for help ,” Subashan said .
Growing up in Ipoh had a profound impact on his passion for infectious diseases . “ My hometown is quite a big inspiration for me because at UM , where I ’ m currently studying , is where the Nipah virus was discovered and my hometown was one of the earliest places to be infected with
“ The nation thanks you and your team for unwavering dedication , sacrifice and excellence in our efforts to fight Covid-19 ,” he said in his social media accounts .
Both Dr Suresh and Dr Shaiful when contacted by The Health , dedicated the award to their staff .
Dr Suresh said :” I see it as a recognition for the teamwork and dedication of all my team members who have been holding the frontline in the hospital since January 2020 .”
Dr Shaiful said he accepted the award on behalf of the outstanding , brave , committed and dedicated staff of the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care for their excellent care of the critically ill Covid-19 patients admitted to its ICU .
According to the Global Health Awards website , the regional Asia-Pacific awards aim to recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets that have maintained consistently high standards in delivering quality care and pushed the boundaries of delighting their customers at every stage and in every interaction .
Sungai Buloh Hospital was designated as Malaysia ’ s main Covid-19 hospital in March . — The Health
the virus .
“ That ’ s what got me interested in infectious disease and microbiology ,” he said . The St Michael ’ s Institution alumnus said his school also played a big part in his life by inculcating values that have served him well . “ We had no streaming in St Michael ’ s so it was a very equal school – I didn ’ t realise it back then but retrospectively , those values moulded my ideals and goals now ,” he said .
The youngest in his family , Subashan ’ s mum is a teacher who teaches Tamil while his dad is a businessman .
His sister , who is two years his senior , is a water treatment chemist .
Given that Covid-19 has disrupted classroom learning around the globe , Oxford still conducts on-campus teaching and Subashan hopes it stays that way .
“ I don ’ t know how it will be then but I hope it will be on campus ,” he said . — The Health

Malaysian joins Covid-19 commission

It has been slightly over a year after the first case of Covid-19 was reported in China , yet the world is still puzzled over the true origin of the virus .
Even after 56 million cases and 1.3 million deaths , scientists have yet to zero in on how the virus got so out of control .
These questions and many more pressing ones - will be the focus of an international taskforce led by Dr Peter Daszak , a disease ecologist who has spent years studying coronavirus transmission in China and Southeast Asia .
“ We intend to conduct a thorough and rigorous investigation into the origins and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 ( Covid-19 ),” said Dr Daszak , who is the president of EcoHealth Alliance , a non-governmental organisation working on critical connections between human , animal , environment health on a global scale .
The 12-member taskforce is also part of The Lancet Covid-19 Commission . The Lancet is one of the world ’ s oldest and most renowned weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal .
The taskforce said its members come from a diverse set of scientific disciplines and backgrounds , with expertise in outbreak investigation , virology , lab biosecurity and disease ecology .
One of them is prominent Malaysian virologist Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit - a leader in emerging viral infections who was also central to the discovery of the Nipah virus .
“ It is timely to form the commission as we now have more comprehensive data and materials to work with . This allows the commission to provide a “ state-of-the art ” assessment and offer governments , civil society , and U . N . institutions practical solutions and recommendations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic ,” he told Bernama in an interview .
“ This taskforce has been given 12 months to conduct an objective and rigorous scientific review of all available information on the origins , early control of the pandemic , and One Health solutions to future pandemic threats ,” said Lam , who is also a research consultant in Universiti Malaya and a Senior Fellow at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia .
In its investigation , the taskforce will recreate Covid-19 outbreak timeline from the end of the SARS outbreak in 2003 up to WHO ’ s declaration of Covid-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30 , 2020 - Bernama .