The Department of Social & Preventive Medicine from University of Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine was delighted to have co-organized the 12th APRU Global Health Conference on October 28-30 with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Global Health Program. Themed “Planetary Health the Next Frontier,” the annual conference was held at the Research Management and Innovation Centre, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A total of 306 participants from more than 70 institutions and 20 Asia-Pacific economies, which included Australia, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States of America and Yemen, attended the conference.
A one-day networking field trip around Kuala Lumpur on October 28 was scheduled pre-conference with 70 participants. The conference officially started on the October 29 with welcome speeches by APRU Director (policy and programs), Ms Christina Schönleber, and the Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya, Datuk Ir. (Dr) Abdul Rahim Rashim. A keynote address on “Planetary Health: Protecting and Promoting Health in the Anthropocene Epoch” was delivered by Professor Anthony Capon from the University of Sidney. This was followed by a plenary on “Managing the Health Risk of a Changing Climate” by Professor Kristie Ebi from University of Washington. Associate Professor, Dr Mellissa Withers, from the University of Southern California also provided updates on the APRU Global Health Program.
This year’s conference had 3 special panels: “Global Health in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution,“ “Human Rights and Planetary Health,” and “Two emerging Global Health challenges: Climate Change and Mental Disorders.” There were 88 oral and 76 poster presentations in the conference. 30 of the posters presentations were by students. There were also 6 concurrent working group meetings on Global Health Education and Technology, Non-communicable Diseases, Environmental Health, Mental Health, Bioethics and Kuala Lumpur Declaration.
The Virtual Case Competition attracted many entries. The 4 finalist teams were University of Malaya, University Gadjah Mada, Our Lady of Fatima University, and University of Southern California. Students from the University of Southern California emerged as the winner of this competition.
Professor Datuk Anuar Zaini (Monash University) launched The Malaysian Global Health Consortium on Day 2 of the conference. The MGHC is hosted by the United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). It is a network aiming to bring together policy makers and researchers to collaborate and contribute to improving global health challenges through training, development of knowledge products, research, service and advocacy.