08:00 – 8:30


Log-in to Virtual Conference

8:30 - 10:00

SYMPOSIUM 5: Strengthening Health Systems Research: Engaging Healthcare Workforce, Policy Makers and Technology SYMPOSIUM 5:
Strengthening Health System Research: Engaging Heathcare Workforce, Policy Makers and Technology

A well-functioning health systems working in harmony is built on having trained and motivated health workers, well-maintained infrastructures, and a reliable supply of medicines and technologies, backed by adequate funding, strong health plans and evidence-based policies. Every component is interconnected, influenced by its environment, defined by its structure and purpose, and expressed through its functioning. Changing one component may affect parts of, or the whole system. Strengthening a health systems requires strengthening of its research counterpart as well. This symposium will cover some, but not all, aspects of health systems research in moving towards the future.

Chairperson: Dr Kalvina Chelladorai
Centre for Health Services Research, Institute for Health Systems Research, National Institutes of Health

Health Policy and Systems Research for Health System Strengthening

Dr Katherine Ann Reyes
College of Public Healtth, University of the Philippines Manila

Dr Katherine Ann Reyes
Dr. Katherine Ann Reyes is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration. Concurrently, she serves as Associate Dean for Research at the UP-Manila College of Public Health. Her teaching portfolio covers health policy, research, and management. She is a trained physician, health policy analyst, researcher, and educator, and is actively contributing to the development and implementation of health reforms primarily in the Philippines, and also the Western Pacific Region. Dr. Reyes received her medical training from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. She completed her Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She also accomplished executive courses in Implementation Science through NCI-USAID PEER, Strategic Management of Health Systems and Qualitative & Mixed Methods in International Health, both from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, and Quantitative Public Policy Analysis from the IPSA-NUS Methods School. Since 2012, she has led or co-led projects on health system strengthening commissioned by DOH, PhilHealth, UNICEF, WHO, UNDP, DSWD, EU, and USAID among others. Her research interests include health regulation, health systems strengthening, policy analysis, implementation and evaluation. Further, Dr. Reyes sits on key advisory roles. She is a Board Member of Health Systems Global, an international membership-based professional organization that is focused on promoting the field of health policy and systems research. Likewise, she is a nominated member of the Philippine Health Technology Assessment Council. She is also a Board Member and co-founder of a local NGO, the Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes, Inc., that is playing an important role in shaping the skills of upcoming public health practitioners.

Delivering Healthcare Intervention: Why Implementation Research is Needed

Dr Nur Hidayati Abdul Halim
Centre for Health Policy Research, Institute for Health Systems Research, National Institutes of Health

Dr Nur Hidayati Abdul Halim
Dr Nur Hidayati Abdul Halim is currently the medical officer of Centre for Health Policy Research, Institute for Health Systems Research, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia. She obtained her Medical Degree from the University Science Malaysia and Executive Masters of Business Administration (Cardiff Metropolitan University) from Westminster International College. She has joined the Institute for Health Systems Research, National Institute of Health since 2013. She has been actively involved in several research projects. She has authored numerous journal articles and presented at a variety of local and international conferences.

Implementation Research: Lessons From Capacity Building in the Southeast Asian Region

Assoc. Prof Dr Yodi Mahendradhata
Vice Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University Gadjah Mada

Assoc. Prof Dr Yodi Mahendradhata
Dr Yodi Mahendradhata is currently the Vice Dean for Research and Development, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. He is a medical doctor by training and he obtained a Master degree in International Health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Charite Medical Faculty, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Dr Mahendradhata completed his Doctorate in Medical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and Ghent University, Belgium. He is also currently leading the South East Asia Regional Training Center for Health Research supported by TDR. He had led developments of national strategy for implementation research, national strategy for tuberculosis control and country proposals to the Global fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. His research interests are in the fields of global health, implementation science, disease control, health policy and health program management. Dr Mahendradhata was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation visiting scholar at the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Germany. He has authored and coauthored numerous peer reviewed articles published in reputable international journals. He has been awarded the Scopus Young Scientist Award by the United Nations University, Elsevier and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Dr Mahendradhata has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health since 2018

AI Application in Health System Research: Where does Malaysia stand, and where can we go?

Dr Lim Wern Han
School of Information Technology, Monash University

Dr Lim Wern Han
Wern Han Lim (Ian) has been teaching computer science with the School of Information Technology, Monash University, since 2015; achieving teaching recognition from student association, school, faculty and campus. Ian, a student experience coordinator for the school, often initiates, coordinates and act as the advisor for student enhancement programs, having mentored student teams successfully in various local, regional and international events particularly hackathons and datathons. He contributes to community outreach programs such as the Campus Community Engagement (CCE) as one of the academic advisors. On the research front, Ian’s area of interest and expertise includes, but not limited to Information Retrieval (IR) and Knowledge Discovery particularly on User-Generated Content (UGC) platforms. His work in this area includes Natural Language Processing (NLP), Data Science (DS) and Machine Learning (ML).Another area of his interest includes Graph Algorithms for a wide range of use cases such as knowledge graph, social engineering and flow optimization with capacity constraint. To date, he has been involved in a number of research projects in these research areas including postgraduate supervision, industry collaborations and industry consultancy.

10:00 - 11:00

SYMPOSIUM 6: Improving Mental Health Delivery using Digital Technology SYMPOSIUM 6:
Improving Mental Health Delivery using Digital Technology

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns left more patients in need to move away from in-person care. As a result, virtual and digital mental health services have seen a significant surge in use. Because of the pandemic, virtual care and other digital tools are more important than ever in supporting existing care, providing scale and increasing capacity, including mental health services. Using digital tools and virtual care, we will be able to meet the community's mental health needs more effectively. By integrating patients, services, and health data in novel ways, digital technology has the potential to transform mental healthcare.

Chairperson: Dr Chan Yee Mang
Center for Burden of Diseases Research, Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health

Mental health issues in Malaysia and Digital Technology Adoption to Enhance Research

Dr Hj Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar
Regional Vice President, World Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Dr Hj Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar
Dr Hj Abdul Kadir Abu Bakar is a consultant Psychiatrist, Gleneagles Medini, Iskandar Puteri, Johor since Oct 2018 till date. He was trained as a psychiatry trainee in the National University of Malaysia from April 1987 until May 1991. Subsequently, Dr Abdul Kabir received his subspecialty Training in Liaison and Community Psychiatry in the United Kingdom from November 1995 until December 1997. Dr Abdul Kabir has served in various hospitals across the nation as a consultant psychiatrist, including Hospital Sentosa, Hospital Sultan Aminah, Hospital Permai and Hospital Sultan Ismail. He is also Executive Council Member of the Asian federation of Psychiatric Association, regional vice president of the World Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and executive council member of the International Mental Health Network. Further, Dr Kabir sits on key advisory roles. He is advisor of Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA) (peer Support Group), MINDA Johor (Family support group), Befrienders Johor, Breast Cancer Support Group, JB and Johor Women League.

The Role of Social Media in Reducing Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination: Experiences from Malaysian NGO

Ms Anita Abu Bakar
President of Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association (MIASA)

Ms Anita Abu Bakar
Puan Anita Abu Bakar is the Founder and President of the Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association (MIASA), a Mental Health advocacy and peer support group based in Petaling Jaya. As Anita was born and raised overseas, she subsequently pursued her tertiary education in the United States. She obtained a Bachelor Degree in Computer Information Systems, with a minor in Management Information Systems. She also holds an MBA in Islamic Banking and Finance from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). Being a peer herself, Anita is an advocate in promoting awareness on mental health. She has conducted various programmes and initiated much effort to educate the public on both the importance of mental health, and addressing the many misconceptions and myths in hopes of reducing the society’s stigma and inducing the availability of more support for those struggling with psychological symptoms. Anita has been a guest speaker and panelist in many conferences and programmes. She has also spoken at many universities, corporations and government agencies across Malaysia.

Digital Technology and Prevention in Mental Health: Experiences from Malaysian NGOs

Mr Johan Amilin
Deputy Chairperson of the Befrienders Kota Kinabalu

Mr Johan Amilin
A Certified Positive Wellbeing and Performance Coach, Johan has been responsible for the training of Befrienders Kota Kinabalu's volunteers since 2013. (Befrienders Kota Kinabalu is suicide prevention and emotional support helpline.) He promotes Positive Psychology and Wellbeing amongst the volunteers and when addressing calls on the helpline, where appropriate. Johan has spoken at numerous international conferences and is the principal coach at Rema Synergy PLT, a coaching and mentoring company for entrepreneurs, leadership, and positive wellbeing development. Johan is also a certified trainer for the Langley Institute Everyday H.E.R.O.E.S (PsyCap) program. He is also a founding member of the Malaysian Positive Psychology Association (MPPA) and co-founder of the Positive Performance Academy. Johan aims to increase awareness in Positive Psychology and Positive Mental Wellbeing in Malaysia and in the region.

11:00 – 11:30

Tea Break

11:30 – 12:30

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 2: Vaccine Development: Where Are We and Are We Ready? ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION 2:
Vaccine Development: Where Are We and Are We Ready?

Effective vaccines are critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, many vaccines have been developed and some are still in the development process. Malaysia also is joining the global scientific community to develop vaccines. There has never been any human vaccine produced and manufactured in Malaysia. There is a need to develop our own capacity to produce human vaccines. We do not want total dependency on others, we need to stand on our own and be prepared for future pandemics. By doing R&D in developing vaccines we will be better prepared. Malaysia also needs to have vaccine manufacturing facilities so that we can produce our vaccines quickly and protect our population.

Moderator: Dr Norazah Ahmad
Head of Infectious Disease Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health


Dr Masita Arip
Head of Allergy and Immunology Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health

Dr Masita Arip
Dr Masita Arip was trained as an undergraduate in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 1999 and subsequently obtained her Master in Pathology (Microbiology & Immunology) at UKM in 2008. She is currently a Consultant Pathologist for Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and the Head of Allergy & Immunology Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research (IMR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Setia Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor. She provides consultations to Ministry of Health (MOH) and non-MOH organisations for immunology, medical microbiology and vaccines areas. She’s also the Dean of Diploma Medical Microbiology course in IMR under South East Asia Ministry of Education Tropical Medicine (SEAMEO-TROPMED). Dr Masita involved in more than 40 research projects focusing on allergy, autoimmune, transplantation immunology, tropical infectious diseases and vaccines. She has published more than 40 original articles and proceedings in different type of journals. She had more than 90 oral and posters research presentations in various conferences locally and overseas. She is also responsible in setting up Malaysian Stem Cell Registry (MSCR) in year 2000 which is a database for healthy Malaysian volunteers who can donate blood stem cells to patients with blood disorders. Dr Masita is also actively involved in laboratory’s Quality Management System and she is the Quality Manager of QMS MS ISO 15189 in IMR since 2016. All the 11 diagnostic laboratories in IMR had been accredited with MS ISO 15189 since 2014. She’s actively participated as lead assessor and technical assessors for Skim Akreditasi Makmal Malaysia (SAMM) organized by Jabatan Standards Malaysia.
Dr Ravindaran Thayan
Head of Virology Unit, Infectious Disease Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health

Dr Ravindaran Thayan
Dr Ravindran Thayan is a Molecular Virologist by training and is currently the Head of Virology Unit, Infectious Diseases Research Centre, IMR. He is also the Director of WHO National Influenza Centre as well as Coordinator for the WHO National Polio Laboratory. He has been with Virology Unit IMR since 1992 and has been involved in many viral outbreak investigations including COVID-19, Polio virus and Measles in 2019, Rabies in 2018, Zika in 2016, Ebola, MERS-CoV and Avian influenza in 2014 and Pandemic Influenza H1N1 in 2009 among others. He has published several peer-reviewed scientific papers as well as presented in conferences as plenary speaker or scientific presentations. He is also member of several expert panel including IMR, MOSTI, CREST R&D Grant application as well as Viral Expertise Panel.
Dr Rozainanee Mohd Zain
Virology Unit, Infectious Disease Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, National Institutes of Health

Dr Rozainanee Mohd Zain
Rozainanee is currently the Consultant Clinical Virologist working at the Virology Unit, Infectious Disease Research Centre. As a Clinical Virologist, she is actively involved with the national reference laboratories activities and the designated reference laboratories; National Poliovirus Laboratory, WHO National Influenza Centre, National Reference Laboratory for HIV/AIDS, National Laboratory for Viral Hepatitis (recently designated) and National Laboratory for Japanese Encephalitis (until 2015). In line with the Ministry of Health’s strategic priorities, Rozainanee had taken up the challenge to lead an important project in developing and implementing HIV drug resistance genotyping assay for the country. The test was initially started as a two-year research project and thereafter, successfully expanded as a diagnostic test. Currently, the test has been made available nationwide throughout all government and private hospitals across the country. She also responsible in carrying out National External Quality Assurance Scheme (NEQAS) to detect the presence on HIV antibodies and to assess other government and private laboratories in the country in performing the tests to detect the IV antibodies. Recently, a new scheme on Hepatitis Serology External Quality Assurance Scheme was introduced by IMR and carried out. Furthermore, she involves with all activities related to Polio Eradication programme and Severe Acute Respiratory infection surveillance. She is an active member of ISO 15189 Implementation committee for IMR. Rozainanee has actively involved in conducting research. She has been involving with research in many medically important viruses such as HIV, hepatitis viruses, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), dengue, zika, rubella virus and SARS-CoV-2.

12:30 – 2:00


2:00 – 3:00

Health Research Priority Setting for 12th Malaysia Plan

Datuk Dr Nor Asiah Muhammad
Head of Evidence Based Healthcare Sector, National Institutes of Health

3:00 – 4:00


Note: Time indicated is GMT+8 (i.e. Malaysia Standard Time)