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News : Second International Conference on Tropical Medicine And Infectious Diseases “Diseases without Borders : Challenges and Preparedness”

UniKL Royal College of Medicine Perak successfully organized the second International Conference on Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases from 29 September to 1 October 2015. The conference managed to attract more than 230 participants consisting of scientists, experts on infectious diseases, academicians, technologist and postgraduate students from 20 countries around the world.
Participants from 20 countries
Held at Syuen Hotel, Ipoh, Perak the two-day International Conference organized by the Faculty of Medicine, UniKL RCMP, gave opportunities to experts from the health industry, academia, government and the public to discuss ideas, share knowledge and learn about the latest inventions and researches that will benefit the health industry and the public at large. The presentations focused on discussing more comprehensive ways to address the infectious tropical diseases spread worldwide through human mass movement.
Academicians and scientists in the hall 
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cheah Tong Soon, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, welcomed all participants and expressed his hope that this conference will provide an opportunity for people from various countries and from various disciplines to meet, discuss, share and  hear the views of some distinguished speakers  in the field of tropical medicine and infectious diseases. 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cheah Tong Soon, Chairman of the Organizing Committee
The conference brought experts from countries such as Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia to this International Conference. Altogether five plenary sessions, five symposiums and twenty-one oral papers were delivered at the conference involving 19 symposiums speakers. Additionally 39 poster presentations were also held at the conference hall.
Plenary sessions discussed topics such as Diseases without Borders, Drug Resistance, Deployable Laboratory Approaches to the West African Ebola Epidemic and Re-emerging Tuberculosis. The symposium topics discussed were Overview of Infectious Diseases, Food and Water Borne Pathogens, Dengue and Vector Borne Viral Diseases, Malaria and Zoonotic Diseases
In this 21st century, pathogens are able to travel and infect people much more easily than ever before as people have become progressively closer and more interdependent through efficient transport, communication and trade systems. The recent outbreaks of Ebola in West African countries and the consequent detection of Ebola cases in the United States and Europe have clearly shown that the infectious agent can be spread to non-endemic countries through the frequent movement of people across borders. 
Datuk Dr Yusof Hj Yacob, Chairman of UniKL RCMP who officially opened the conference observed "Emerging and re-emerging viral infections like Ebola is still simmering in West Africa. Diagnosis of sporadic cases of this disease in North America and Europe clearly illustrates that diseases can disseminate beyond borders due to international travels".
Datuk Dr Yusof Hj Yacob, Chairman of UniKL RCMP
He added, "Though most cases of MERS-CoV have been identified in the Arabian Peninsula, several travel-associated cases have also been reported in Asian countries such as the recent outbreak of the disease in South Korea.  Global warming also increases the risk of transmission of mosquito-borne arboviruses. In addition, dengue has emerged as a serious health problem in the Asian region. Other infectious diseases like tuberculosis, dengue and malaria with fatalities are still endemic in several countries and are reemerging with a vengeance."
This international conference is timely in that it provides a forum for discussions among scientists, infectious-disease experts, academicians and technologist on the various aspects of combating infectious diseases and the future directions in this endeavor.

Group photo with the speakers and participants 
The main sponsors of the conference were Abbot Laboratories (Singapore) PTE. LTD; Bank Rakyat, Interscience Sdn. Bhd, Lab Science Solution Sdn. Bhd, Leeds Dynamic Sdn. Bhd, LKL Advance Metaltech Sdn. Bhd, Matrix Optics (M) Sdn. Bhd; OMS Technology Sdn. Bhd.; Sanofi Pasteur Pharmaceuticals; Hand Sanitizer (Cheah Tong Soon) – UniKL RCMP; Esco Micro (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Second International Conference Committee Members 
Some of the more interesting Research papers presented at the conference were:-
  1. Diseases without Borders by Dr Cheng Chi Chung, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
  2. Overview of Infectious Diseases by Prof Dr. Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, NUS, Singapore 
  3. Epidemiology of Streptococcal Pharyngitis  in a Tropical Country by Prof Dr. Thangam Menon, University of Madras, India; 
  4. Deployable Laboratory Approaches to the West African Ebola Epidemic by Prof Dr TJJ Inglis, PaLM, UWA, Australia 
  5. Food and Water Borne Pathogens - Dr Dhamodaran Subbiah, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Changi General Hospital, Singapore 
  6. Neglected Tropical Diseases – Food Borne Trematodiases; A Global Challenge - Prof Dr S.P. Pani, QUEST University, Malaysia; 
  7. Sanofi Pasteur's new dengue vaccine candidate:Is it worth the wait, Alan Bouckenooghe, Assoc Vice President, Medical Affairs, Clinical R&D, Asia Pacific Region
  8. Drug Resistance: A Global Threat Datuk-Dr Christopher Lee Kwok Chong, Head of Infectious Diseases and Senior Medical Consultant, Sungai Buloh Hospital, Malaysia
  9. Attacking Hypnozoite Reservoir of Plasmodium vivax with Primaquine and G6PD Deficiency Obstacle – Prof. Dr. Kevin Baird, Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Indonesia.
The next International Conference is scheduled to be held in 2017.

Reported by
Zahaimi Abdullah Sani

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