Nov 25 2021

It was a proud moment for RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC) when one of its academic members received the Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award recently. The award was conferred to Professor Jacqueline Judith Ho in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of Paediatrics in Malaysia.

Hailing from New Zealand, Prof Ho joined as a Paediatrician with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MoH) at Ipoh General Hospital in 1985. Since then, she has contributed significantly to the Child Health and medical education landscape in Malaysia and internationally. She was instrumental in developing tertiary neonatal services at Ipoh General Hospital. She also lobbied for the approval of artificial surfactant (Survanta) with MoH in 1996. Her neonatal unit was the first centre in Malaysia to administer this game-changing therapy in perinatal medicine.

Between 1985 and 1999, she trained and mentored numerous junior doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals both at the hospital and nationally through MoH. She provided leadership in national educational programmes such as the Baby-Friendly and Breastfeeding Initiatives, neonatal resuscitation programme, evidence-based practices and co-authored training resources for Malaysian health professionals.

In 1999, Prof Ho took a clinical academic role as the Head of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Medicine Perak (UniKL RCMP) and subsequently at RUMC from 2007-to 2019. She was a neonatologist in MoH’s Neonatal Unit and is currently based in Penang as an academic of RUMC. Her expertise in education and training health professionals was recognised internationally, and she was often invited to participate in and lead programmes internationally as a Technical Expert for the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“I am truly honoured to be the recipient of this award and it will always be close to my heart. It is wonderful to be recognised for work that has given me so much enjoyment. I thank my nominators and the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association,” said Prof Ho.

“I am grateful to the Paediatric fraternity who welcomed me when I first came to Malaysia over 40 years ago and allowed me to work together with them to improve the health of children here,” she added.

One of Prof Ho’s significant contributions to child health both locally and globally is her role in the Cochrane Collaboration. She was the founding Director of Cochrane Malaysia and established systematic review training including training of trainers. She had personally trained the majority of Malaysian Cochrane authors. For her significant and outstanding contribution to enhancing the visibility of women’s participation within Cochrane, she was awarded the 2021 Cochrane Anne Anderson Award.

Prof Ho is one of the many notable, qualified, and passionate members of the RUMC faculty. With academics of excellent background and experience in medical practice and outstanding research from various countries around the world. RUMC stands by its promise in providing high-quality medical education to its students and graduating high-performing doctors who go on to contribute to the betterment of healthcare in Malaysia and the world.

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