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News : Current Trends, Challenges and Issues of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine

Tropical and infectious diseases continue to pose threats to public health because of the global warming, poverty, rapid population growth and changes in human behaviour said Y.B Datuk Dr. Adham Baba, Chairman of Universiti Kuala Lumpur.

Dr. Adham Baba who was delivering his opening address at the "First International Conference on Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases: "Current Trends, Challenges and Issues" said that we need to respond seriously to these tropical diseases because they could cause huge obstacles to social and economic development of the countries concerned.

"The worldwide threat of biological attacks with anthrax and the recent outbreak of Avian influenza, carry the message that infectious diseases should not be taken lightly. We should always be prepared and remain vigilant to combat such diseases" he said. "The increase in the movement of people across borders and interrelated food chains are among the causes of the spread of infectious diseases throughout the world."



"We are living in an increasingly complex world where our health and safety is continually threatened by microbes which continue to emerge, resurge and persist. These include well-documented diseases emerging in new numbers and in new places as a result of rapid travel, the development of resistance, mutations, and adaptations. We now recognize that a complex array of factors relating to society, the environment and our increasingly global interconnectedness all enhance the likelihood of the emergence of such diseases. We have to be vigilant against the spread of bio-terrorism and the deliberate use of biological agents that could harm communities around the world", Dr. Adham Baba the conference attended by a pool of experts on tropical diseases.

He stressed the fact that as far as Malaysia is concerned, mortality and morbidity due to infectious diseases have been much reduced with the advances made in medicine, technology, improvements in health-care services, economy, education and the environment.



He also said that more than 90% of the population in Malaysia lives within 5 km of static health care facilities and others may be equipped with outreach services such as Flying Doctor Services especially in East Malaysia. These services provided by the Malaysian government have contributed to a steady decline in all aspects of perinatal, infant and toddler mortalities. The immunization programmes carried out by the Ministry of Health with regard to TB among children since the 1950's, has shown very positive results. The ministry has since then increased its services in providing immunization against 10 other major diseases, namely BCG, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Pertusis (Whooping Cough), Tetanus, Measles, Rubella, Mumps, Poliomyelitis, and Haemophilus influenza B, with good coverage beyond the targets set by the World Health Organization and Universal Child Immunization.

Dr. Adham Baba thanked all the participants as well as the organizing committee and expressed his hope that the 3 day conference would be able to help bring new knowledge and insights regarding global health issues and help to chart a course of action for the future.

The International conference which started on 4th December 2012 was attended by 160 participants mainly from Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, Libya, Nigeria, Singapore and Thailand as well as Malaysia.

Research papers were presented by experts from Florida International University; United Nation University; The John Hopkins University School of Medicine; School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Western Australia; World Health Organization, Universitii Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak, Faculty of Medicine; Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; University Malaya and Quest International University.



Reported by,
Zahaimi Abdullah Sani

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