HAIAP Forum Penang May 27-28 2023 Health Action for All – the way forward

Health Action International Asia Pacific (HAIAP) and partners – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and the Third World Network – hosted a forum in Penang on May 27 and 28 at Dewan Budaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia in line with WHO’s World Health Day slogan for 2023: Health for All.
See brochure

The 2-day meeting with its theme Health Action for All: the way forward was as historic as the day when it was decided that HAIAP would be hosted by then International Organisation of Consumer Unions (IOCU)’s regional office in Penang. The third day – May 29 – was devoted to planning our way ahead.

Joining the journey was Tan Sri Dzulkifli Razak (currently IIUM rector) whose health activism began as a student of USM and on to his leadership at the USM School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, inspired by the principles of Primary Health Care embodied in the Alma Alta Declaration of 1978.

On the special occasion of its 40th anniversary, HAIAP produced a book ‘HAIAP at 40‘ which is a chronicle of health heroes, historic events, challenges and victories. This book covers many dimensions of the journey: the people, the places and the passions; the vision, the victims and the victories; and the initiatives, the inspirations and the ingenuity.

In Penang – after 42 years – stories were told and partnerships celebrated. New challenges were identified, new friends joined us, and our way ahead was planned.

Videos will be available. Here is the link for the first day: (Thank you Yap Beow Keat)

  • Day 1 – https://fb.watch/kTNzFmwikH/

Session 1. The program was opened with the National Anthem, prayers and welcomes from the Dean Assoc Prof Dr Nuurzalina Binti Abdul Karim Khan and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Habibah A Wahab. (Links TBA)

Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak introduced the proceedings

and a Keynote Address was delivered by Dato’ Seri Anwar Fazal who paid a special tribute to Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, one of the founders of HAIAP and the founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) in Bangladesh who died on April 11.

A historic video showed the story of GK and Dr Chowdhury https://clipchamp.com/watch/OTghdsUbeUY
Dr Tariqul Islam from GK paid a personal tribute to Dr Zafrullah (Link TBA)

What followed was the presentation of the Olle Hansson Award 2023 – jointly – to Dr Claudio Schuftan and Dr Michael Tan.

Presentations at the event can be seen below

Session 2. (Link TBA)
International Health Regulations and Pandemic Accord – A brief review
Evelyne Hong

Session 3.
 Access to Affordable Essential Medicines and Technologies:
‘TRIPS’ and Equity
‘The Malaysian experience in using TRIPS flexibilities’
Beverley Snell and Chee Yoke Ling

Session 4.
‘The importance of the ONE HEALTH approach to Antimicrobial Policy at National level: Case study of the Thailand AMR movement’
Dr Niyada Kiatying Angsulee 

Session 5.
Country Experiences
Pakistan- HANDS Dr Tanveer Ahmed
Sri Lanka – Prof Manuj Weerasinghe
Kerala – Dr Ekbal Bappakunju

Session 6.
FORUM – Dispensing Separation: Is it merely and academic discussion.
Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Link TBA)
Australian Case Study: Beverley Snell

Beverley Snell Award: ‘Catalyst Crew’ video competition
In conjunction with this event, a video competition was organised as a platform to highlight the contributions of university students to the society. The theme of this competition was ‘Catalyst Crew: Youth Change-makers Video Challenge’. The goal – to highlight the creativity and innovation of participants in the context of community and social engagements. We also aimed to celebrate the spirit of philanthropism and volunteerism among the youth while fostering idea exchange and creativity expansion using digital content making.
The competition was open to all current university students aged between 18 to 25 years from private or public universities in Malaysia.
There were seven entries, judged by a panel of experts, according to: Objectives clearly mentioned, Delivery of information, Relevance to target population, Sustainable impact, Organisation, Creativity, Clarity and language.
All participants received a certificate of participation by the HAIAP Network.
The three top winners received their award at the HAIAP Forum during 28th May.
The winners were as follows:
1. STARx School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang.
Community Health & Wellness: Free Health Screening Baktisiswa Project 2022
The Baktisiswa project is a community service project where 36 students accompanied by 4 lecturers from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences USM visited Kampung Kota Aur, Penaga Pulau Pinang on 20-21 August 2022. It was planned fully by the students and is being done every year as an annual program. One part of the program featured in the video was free health screening for the villagers which was done on the first day of the program in 1922.
The focus of this project is to guarantee that everyone can get their health screened without discrimination of any kind based on race, birth status, economical and social situation.
Based on an interview with participants, we believe this program has a good impact in the society because the villagers of Kampung Penaga are becoming more informed regarding health awareness and they spread the information that they got among each other. 

2. SCOuT Endemic Disease. University of Cyberjaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Dengue Social Media Campaign.
The Dengue Social Media Campaign was conducted during February 2023 at multiple venues/platforms including the University of Cyberjaya.
The public community of Cyberjaya was the targeted demographic for our project.
The number of accumulated participants in our campaign is 2781 individuals including those from wordle and crossword puzzle participants, trivia reel participants, dengue reel components of the program and from the social media audience. Some of the outcomes measured from our campaign are high interaction from our participants, their understanding after reading the pre-provided infographic as shown in trivia reel; and the participation rate. Both the Trivia reel and Dengue Reel reached over 1000 views in the 24 hours after the reels were posted. A lot of positive feedback from the community was recorded. They engaged with our social media content and were looking forward for more. Ultimately, the impact of our campaign is that dengue awareness has been raised in the community.

3. ALASTAIR. Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia Kuantan, Malaysia.
HERBA ATAU PIL? “Herbs Or Pills?”
The target population of our video is the elderly group especially for those who are too dependent on traditional medicine. Our group consists of 5 Kulliyyah of Pharmacy IIUM students from Kuantan.
The objective of our video is to eliminate the stereotype that modern medicine harms the body and to foster confidence of the elderly in modern and professional medical methods. The targeted impact of our video production is on confusion about traditional and modern medicines. Confusion can be eliminated through the dissemination of correct and accurate information. The information disseminated can also promote the effectiveness of more efficient medicines. Thus, the young generation needs to take advantage of the social media facilities to give the public awareness of the ethics of safe and effective medical use.

Summing up and closing: the way forward
Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Link TBA)