UTAR: RESEARCH COLLABORATION WITH CATA, HATA AND MKAKK
Delegates from Chinese Anti-Tuberculosis Association (CATA), Hunan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (HATA) and Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory (MKAKK) visited Sungai Long Campus on 26 December 2018.
The visit was organised to discuss collaborations under the Belt Road Initiative in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) through video and PowerPoint presentation. It also aimed to build rapport between UTAR, CATA, HATA and MKAKK.
The delegates from CATA were its President-cum-Deputy Director-general China CDC Dr Liu JianJun, Division Chief Dr Fan Haiying, Secretary-general Dr Cheng Shiming, HATA Secretary-general-cum-Vice President of Hunan Provincial Chest Hospital Dr Bai Liqiong, MKAKK Director Dr Jiloris F Dony and Laboratory Officer Dawn C Paul.
Welcoming the delegates were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Division of Community and International Networking (DCInterNet) Director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) Dean Emeritus Prof Dr Cheong Soon Keng, Head of Department of Chinese Medicine Assoc Prof Dr Te Kian Keong, Centre for Research on Communicable Diseases Chairperson Prof Dr Ngeow Yun Fong, Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Prof Dr Yap Sook Fan, Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Prof Dr Ng Teck Han and Department of Biomedical Science lecturer Saw Seow Hoon.
Prof Ngeow expressed her eagerness to collaborate with CATA and HATA, and suggested some areas of collaboration. She said, “It would be great if we can have collaborative research to work on the Tuberculosis (TB) genotype distribution and transmission dynamics in Sabah. On top of that, we would like to have a collaborative research for improved screening of TB for early detection and early initiation of therapy, and improved diagnosis of extrapulmonary TB. Besides, we hope to develop apps for TB information and result delivery to facilitate rapid reporting, diagnosis and treatment. We also wish to look into constructing simple and affordable yet effective BSCs for the processing of clinical samples and affordable isolators for manipulative work on TB cultures. Lastly, we want to adopt the practice of using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data analysis in TB surveillance (AIME for TB).”
“I am glad to see the five suggestions presented by Prof Ngeow. I’m glad that the discussion today has paved us a good platform to exchange beneficial ideas. Every two years, we would organise an international exhibition and each year has seen a successful participation of about 3,000 international academic staff. Hence, we would like to extend our invitation to UTAR to participate in our exhibition in the future as well,” said Dr Liu.
Dawn presented a research study titled “Studies on Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex in Sabah”. The co-researchers were Dr Jiloris, Prof Ngeow, Prof Yap and Richard Avoi from Universiti Malaysia Sabah. During the presentation, she thanked UTAR for providing the fund for their research study.
Dr Bai gave a brief introduction about HATA. She also shared about HATA’s partnerships and collaborations with others and suggested some possible areas of collaborations with UTAR, MKAKK and CATA for mutual benefits. She also thanked UTAR for its warm welcome.
A souvenir exchange session between Emeritus Prof Cheong and Dr Liu took place. It was followed by a group photography session before the meeting ended.
Dr Fan, Saw, Dawn and Dr Te