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Paediatrics Department

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The Department of Paediatrics, University of Malaya is one of the oldest tertiary paediatric centres in Malaysia. It is an important discipline as children make up approximately 40% of the country’s total population. The Department of Paediatrics was established as a clinical department in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in 1966. However, the department only began its services after the University Hospital was established in 1968.

Training programmes in the department include undergraduate MBBS and a structured 4-year post-graduate training leading to the Master of Paediatrics degree. In addition, basic science students at MSc and PhD levels also may pursue research here. The department also receives clinical fellows from within and outside Malaysia for sub-specialty training.

The Department provides clinical service to the University of Malaya Medical Centre. Approximately 22,000 outpatients and 7,000 in-patients are seen per year. From a modest four general paediatric wards, the department has grown to a 130 – bedded unit which also boasts a 10 – bedded paediatric intensive care unit, oncology services day care (ward, daycare and research laboratory), a haemopoeitic stem cell transplantation unit, a Level 3 special care nursery/neonatal ICU as well as specialized services. In collaboration with other departments in the medical centre, the department also maintains regular multi-disciplinary meetings to ensure optimal patient care.

In addition to providing education and training in paediatrics, the department is also committed to promoting child health in Malaysia. Members of the department are active in academic societies and non-governmental organisations which help drive health and well-being of children in Malaysia.


The Department of Paediatrics, University of Malaya is one of the oldest tertiary paediatric centres in Malaysia. It is an important discipline as children make up approximately 40% of the country’s total population.

The Department of Paediatrics was established as a clinical department in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in 1966. However, the department only began its services after the University Hospital was established in 1968.

Prof. Dr. Alan E. Dugdale

1967 – 1972

Prof. Dr. Maxwell J.Robinson 

1974 – 1977

Prof. Dr. Lam Khuan Leng

1977 – 1994

Prof. Dr. Lin Hai Peng

1994 – 2002

Prof. Dr. Asma Omar

2002 – 2005

Prof. Dr.  Wan Ariffin Abdullah

 2005 – 2007

Prof. Dr.  Fatimah Harun 

2007 – August 2009

Prof. Dr. Thong Meow Keong

Sept 2009 – June 2011

Prof. Dr.  Lee Way Seah

July 2011 – July 2016

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yazid Jalaludin

August  2016 – Present

Landmark Activities

1. The Women’s and Children’s health complex costing nearly RM200 million was officially opened and commissioned on the 11th January 2011 at 11.11am by the UMMC Director, Dato Prof Ikram Shah, assisted by Prof Thong Meow Keong (Head of Paediatrics) and Prof Dr Siti Zawiah (head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology). The historic moment were witnessed by other dignitaries and senior medical personnel. The transition from the old building to the new complex was done successfully in stages with minimal interruptions due to careful planning, dedication and cooperation from all staff members

2. Professor Dr Ikuya Nonaka, a renowned world expert in neuromuscular diseases from the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan was appointed the first Visiting Professor to the Department of Paediatrics UMMC from 2011-2013. This historic moment was planned in 2010 by Prof Thong as for the first time, an international expert in paediatric neurology was appointed to this esteemed position in the Department of Paediatrics UM.

3. The first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Department of Paediatrics was signed between the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) USA and University of Malaya. This historic effort initiated in 2010 by Prof Thong culminated in the signing of the MOU on the 21st November 2011. This will benefit closer collaborations between the 2 institutions on various research projects. Prof Muhammad Yazid was one of the academic staff members who was trained at CHOP.


Prof Madya Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin

Head of Department

Bil Salutation Name Email Phone
1 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin yazidj@ummc.edu.my 03-79492065
2 Prof. Dato’ Dr. Christopher Boey Chiong Meng boeycm@ummc.edu.my & ccmboey@um.edu.my 03-79492065
3 Prof. Dr. Hany Mohd Ariffin hany@ummc.edu.my & hany@um.edu.my 03-79492065
4 Prof. Dr. Koh Mia Tuang kohmt@ummc.edu.my & kohmt@um.edu.my 03-79492065
5 Prof. Dr. Lee Way Seah leews@ummc.edu.my & leews@um.edu.my 03-79492065
6 Prof. Dr. Lucy Lum Chai See lumcs@ummc.edu.my & lumccs@um.edu.my 03-79492065
7 Prof. Dr. Thong Meow Keong thongmk@ummc.edu.my & thongmk@um.edu.my 03-79492065
8 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna Marie Nathan anna@ummc.edu.my 03-79492065
9 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Azanna bt Ahmad Kamar azanna@ummc.edu.my & azanna@um.edu.my 03-79492065
10 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Choo Yao Mun ymchoo@ummc.edu.my & yaomun@um.edu.my 03-79492065
11 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fong Choong Yi fongcy@um.edu.my & cyfong@ummc.edu.my 03-79492065
12 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gan Chin Seng Gancs72@um.edu.my & Csgan@ummc.edu.my 03-79492065
13 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mary Joseph Marret mary@ummc.edu.my & marret@um.edu.my 03-79492065
14 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ng Ruey Terng ng.ruey.terng@ummc.edu.my 03-79492065
15 Dr. Azriyanti Anuar Zaini azriyanti@ummc.edu.my & azriaz@ um.edu.my 03-79492065
16 Dr. Chong Lee Ai leeai@um.edu.my 03-79492065
17 Dr. Norazah Zahari norazah@ummc.edu.my & norazahz@um.edu.my -
18 Dr. Revathi a/p Rajagopal rgrevathi@ummc.edu.my -
19 Dr. Subhashini a/p Jayanath subhashini@ummc.edu.my & subhashinij@um.edu.my -
20 Dr. Yap Tsiao Yi tyyap@ummc.edu.my -
21 Dr. Chuah Soo Lin chuahsl@ummc.edu.my -
22 Dr. Eg Kah Peng kah.peng@ummc.edu.my -
23 Dr. Foo Jen Chun jcfoo@ummc.edu.my -
24 Dr. Farah Khalid farah.khalid@ummc.edu.my -
25 Dr. Karmila bt Abu Bakar karmila@um.edu.my -
26 Dr. Li Limin li.limin@ummc.edu.my -
27 Dr. Lim Wei Kang wklim@um.edu.my & wklim@ummc.edu.my -
28 Dr. Nurshadia bt Samingan nurshadia@ummc.edu.my & nurshadia@um.edu.my -
29 Dr. Tae Sok Kun sokkun@ummc.edu.my -
30 Dr. Tay Chee Geap cgtay@ummc.edu.my & taycheegeap@um.edu.my -
30 Dr. Vida Jawin vida@ummc.edu.my -
Bil Salutation Name Email Phone
1 Ms. Barathy A/P Muthusamy Kaundan barathy_10@um.edu.my 03-79492732
2 Ms. Betty Sheila A/P Subramaniam ila25@um.edu.my 03-79496407
3 Ms. Emi Suraya Binti Hashim esue_dream@um.edu.my 03-79492065
4 Mr. Mohd Sharif Bin Idris mohdsharif@um.edu.my 03-79492732
5 Mr. Mohd Taufik Bin Ishak taufik_i@um.edu.my 03-79496346
6 Ms. Noraishah Binti Ab Rashid eshah_79@um.edu.my 03-79492732
4 Ms. Nur Mahirah Binti Mahmood nurmahirah@um.edu.my 03-79496407
7 Ms. Rosmini Binti Tahir @ Hj Mohd Tahir rosmini@um.edu.my 03-79496407
8 Mr. Shapawi Bin Ismail shapawi@um.edu.my 03-79496440
Academic Programme

Strage 1

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Clinical Days teaching

Strange 2

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Clinical Days teaching
  • Self-Directed Learning Project

Strange 3.1

  • 8 weeks clinical posting at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang
  • Lectures and Problem-based learning sessions

Strange 3.2

  • 8 weeks clinical posting at University of Malaya Medical Centre
  • Lectures and Problem-based learning sessions

The Department of Paediatrics, University of Malaya began conducting post-graduate teaching, leading to the degree of Master of Paediatrics in 1988. In 1998, the course was merged with that of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia to form a conjoint training programme with common examinations. This merger allowed standardization of teaching syllabi and assessment tools. This ensures that general paediatricians graduating from any of this three leading medical schools in Malaysia conform to a regulated standard.

The 4-year Master of Paediatrics programme consists of three stages:

  • Stage l (Year 1) includes training in basic clinical paediatrics, basic sciences and emergency paediatrics. Ample opportunities to develop procedural skills are available especially when on-call.
  • Stage ll (Year 2 & 3) involves structured rotation in the various disciplines to develop well-rounded knowledge in paediatrics and child health. Trainees usually embark on their research project at this stage.
  • Stage lll (Year 4) involves advanced training in paediatrics including the subspecialty of choice. Trainees are allowed short attachments in subspecialty units in other hospitals.

Submission of a thesis/research project report is required at this stage before being allowed to graduate.

Medical officers are allowed to apply for the Masters programme after serving 2 years of housemanship and one year of post-HO training. Candidates who fulfil the above criteria must pass the Malaysian Paediatric Entrance Examination (not more than 2 years) before the date of entry into the new academic session. Foreign doctors are allowed to enroll if they qualify for full registration with the Malaysian Medical Council as well as fulfill criteria stated above.

For more information, contact the Institute of Postgraduate Studies, University of Malaya or email Ms. Barathy at barathy_10@um.edu.my


Areas of research of the various sub-specialties are listed below :

  1. Vitamin D deficiency among Malaysian paediatric patients with autism
  2. Childhood autism
Key publication(s):

Autism in Short: A Handbook for Parents. ISBN: 978-967-0311-24-1. November 2018. Gerak Budaya Enterprise, Kuala Lumpur.

RESEARCH PROJECTS (Selected 2012-2018)

  1. Genetic Counselling
  2. Rare Disease Registry Program
  3. Myotonic dystrophy

Key publication(s):

  1. Lee JMH and Thong MK. Genetic Counseling Services and Development of Training Programs in Malaysia. Journal of Genetic Counselling April 2013 DOI: 10.1007/s10897-013-9589-z
  2. Ngim CF, et al. Growth hormone therapy for people with thalassaemia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD012284. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012284.
  3. Kruszka P, et al. Noonan Syndrome in Diverse Populations Am J Med Genet A. 2017 Jul 27. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.38362.
  4. Thong MK, et al. Medical genetics in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region: challenges and opportunities. Genet Med. 2018 Aug 10. doi: 10.1038/s41436-018-0135-0.
  1. Oxygenation in the Resuscitation of Premature Infants and Their Developmental Outcome. 
  2. Infant cry recognition using deep neural network.
  3. Infection control (in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA) 
  4. Early nutrition in Southeast Asia.
  5. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in a Multi-Racial Asian Community 
  6. Neonatal Magnetic Acupuncture for Painful Procedures in Infants. 
  7. Fenofibrate in combination with Phototherapy to Reduce Neonatal Hyperbilirubinaemia. 

Selected Publications

  1. Li M, et al. Cost is the most important factor influencing active management of extremely preterm infants in China. Acta Paediatrica. https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.14533 
  2. Thamrin V, et al. Preterm Infant Outcomes after Randomization to Initial Resuscitation with FiO2 0.21 or 1.0. J Peds https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.05.053 
  3. Oei JL, et al. Targeted Oxygen in the Resuscitation of Preterm Infants - A Randomized Clinical Trial. Pediatrics DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-1452 
  4. Choo YM, et al. Lutein and zeaxanthin for reducing morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, 
  5. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012178. 
  6. Lai NM, et al.  Antimicrobial dressings for the prevention of catheter-related infections in newborn infants with central venous catheters. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD011082. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011082.pub2.  

Research Interest:

  1. Preventive Cardiology in Children and Adolescent
  2. Functional assessment by speckle tracking echocardiography in iron overload patients
  3. Preoperative care in critical congenital heart disease
  4. Role of isometric exercise in patient with congenital heart defect
  5. Long term outcome in Kawasaki disease patient

Selected Publications:

  1. Bah, M. N. M., Sapian, M. H., Jamil, M. T., Alias, A. and Zahari, N. (2018) Survival and Associated Risk Factors for Mortality Among Infants with Critical Congenital Heart Disease in a Developing Country. Pediatric Cardiology 39 (7), 1389-1396
  2. Mat Bah, M.N., Safian, M.H., Jamil, M.T., Abdullah, N., Alias, E.Y. and Zahari, N (2018) The birth prevalence, severity, and temporal trends of congenital heart disease in the middle‐income country: A population‐based study. Congenital Heart Disease DOI: 10.1111/chd.12672
  3. Suntratonpipat, S., Khoo, N.S., Colen, T., Alhabdan, M., Troung, D., Zahari, N., Kutty, S., Smallhorn, J.F., Tham, E.B.(2017) Impaired Single Right Ventricular Function Compared to Single Left Ventricles during the Early Stages of Palliation: A Longitudinal Study.

Research Areas

  1. Childhood Diabetes and new therapies
  2. Insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome
  3. Adolescent health
  4. Vitamin D and bone health

Selected Publications

  1. Book : ‘READY, GET SET, GROW…’- Editor: Dr Azriyanti AZ, A/P Dr Muhammad Yazid b Jalaludin
  2. Nalini M. Selveindran, Syed Zulkifli Syed Zakaria, Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin, Rahmah Rasat. Behavioural Problems in Children with 46XY Disorders of Sex Development International Journal of Endocrinology. Volume 2017, Article ID 5987490, 6 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/5987490. Published 22 June 2017
  3. Rahmadhani R, Zaharan NL, Mohamed Z, Moy FM, Jalaludin MY. The associations between VDR BsmI polymorphisms and risk of vitamin D deficiency, obesity and insulin resistance in adolescents residing in a tropical country. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 15;12(6):e0178695. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178695. eCollection 2017
  4. Quah, S. W., Majid, H. A., Al-Sadat, N., Yahya, A., Sue, T. T., and Jalaludin, M. Y. (2018) Risk factors of vitamin D deficiency among 15-year-old adolescents participating in the Malaysian Health and Adolescents Longitudinal Research Team Study (MyHeARTs). Plos One 13 (7) (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200736)
  5. Zaharan, N. L. Muhamad, N. H., Jalaludin, M. Y., Su, T. T., Mohamed, Z., Mohamed, M. N. A. & Majid, H. A. (2018) Non-Synonymous Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms and Physical Activity Interactions on Adiposity Parameters in Malaysian Adolescents. Frontiers in Endocrinology 9, (DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00209) 

International Collaborations

1. Southeast Asian Pediatric IBD Research Network

  • Nature: Prospective multi-centre, international collaborative study on clinical features and natural history of Pediatric IBD in Southeast Asia. 
  • Members: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong.

2.Pediatric IBD Network (PIBD Net) Study

  • Nature: International collaborative study funded by European Union on natural history and outcome of childhood IBD.

Selected recent publications

  1. Natalia Castaño-Rodríguez, Nadeem O Kaakoush, Way Seah Lee, Hazel M Mitchell. Does Helicobacter pylori infection modify the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Gut 2017;66:235-249.
  2. Lee YY, Siti Asma Hassan, Intan Hakimah Ismail, Chong SY, Raja Affendi Raja Ali, Syafinaz Amin Nordin, Lee WS, Noorizan Abdul Majid. Gut microbiota in early life and its influence on health and disease: A Position Paper by the Malaysian Working Group on Gastrointestinal Health. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2017;53:1152-1158.
  3. Lee WS, Tee CW, Koay ZL, Wong TS, Zahraq F, Foo HW, Ong SY, Wong SY, Ng  RT. Quality indicators in pediatric colonoscopy in a low-volume center: Implications for training. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2018;24(9):1013-1021.
  4. Kotlarz D, Marquardt B, Baroy T, Lee WS, Hollizeck S, Magg T, Lehle AS, Walz C, Borggrafe I, Hauck F, Bufler P, Uhlig HH, Hopfner KP, Muise AM, Snapper SB, Frengen E, Klein C. Human transforming growth factor Beta-1 deficiency. Nature Genetics 2018;50:344-348.
  5. Lee WS, Wong SH, D. Dunbar Ivy, Sokol RJ. Hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension in children: recent advances in diagnosis and management. Journal of Pediatrics 2018 Mar 5. pii: S0022-3476(17)31763-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.12.068.

There are collaboration research works nationally and internationally to improve the care of the paediatric intensive care. Areas of research include :

  1. Traumatic brain injury
  2. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia 
  3. Paediatric Intensive Care Registry
  4. Dengue 

Selected Publications:

  1. Lum LC, et al. Adenovirus in EV71-associated hand, foot, and mouth disease. Lancet. 2000;355(9198):146-7.
  2. Wong JJ, et al. Risk Stratification in Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Multicenter Observational Study. Crit Care Med. 2017 doi10.1097/CCM.0000000000002623
  3. Gan CS, et al.  Differences Between Pulmonary and Extrapulmonary Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Multicenter Analysis. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. 2018;19(10):e504-13.
  4. Lye DC, et al. Prophylactic platelet transfusion plus supportive care versus supportive care alone in adults with dengue and thrombocytopenia: a multicentre, open-label, randomised, superiority trial. Lancet. 2017;389 (10079):1611-1618

The division is active in research in Paediatric Neurology and performs collaborative research both within Malaysia and internationally. The division’s research interest include

  1. Quality of life among children with neurological disorders, 
  2. Paediatric epilepsy
  3. Paediatric neuromuscular disorders, 
  4. Prevention of comorbidities associated with chronic neurological disorders. 

The division is a recognised national and international training site within the Asian region (accreditated by the Asian Epilepsy Academy) for Paediatric Neurology and Paediatric Epilepsy training / fellowship. We have an excellent reputation of producing high quality fellows and have attracted Paediatric Neurology fellows from Asian countries like Myanmar, Laos and Indonesia. As of 2019, 7 fellows have graduated from our unit and the graduants have continued to contribute greatly to their country as Paediatric Neurologist.

Selected publications:

  1. Fong CY, et al. Determinants of low bone mineral density in children with epilepsy. Eur J Paediatr Neurol, 2018 ;22(1):155-163. 
  2. Fong CY, et al. (2018). Quality of life in Malaysian children with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behaviour, 2018 ; 80: 15-20. 
  3. Fong CY, et al. Provision of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) information among Malaysian parents of children with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2017; 75:6-12. 
  4. Tay CG, Lee VW, Ong LC, Goh KJ, Ariffin H, Fong CY. (2017). Vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer; Aug; 64(8). doi. 10.1002/pbc.26471.  
  5. Fong, C.Y., Tay, C.G., Ong, L.C., & Lai, N.M. Chloral hydrate as a sedating agent for neurodiagnostic procedures in children. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. Advance online publication. 2017 ; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011786.pub2.  

Research is done in collaboration with many international consortia and institutions to enable our patients access to a high standard of care. On-going collaborations include:

  • Malaysia-Singapore (MASPORE) Childhood Leukemia Studies
  • St Jude Global Neuro-Oncology Seminars
  • European Bone Marrow Transplantation Consortium ALL-SCTped2012 FORUM study
  • VIVA-Asia Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium
  • VIVA-Asia Brain and Solid Tumour Consortium

The paediatric oncology unit also has a dedicated research laboratory staffed by PhD-level scientists, a data manager, clinical trial coordinator and several technicians. Infrastructure is also in place for biobanking of tumour specimens with clinical annotation. Areas of active research include:

  • Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
  • Inborn Errors of Immunity
  • Inherited and Somatic p53 mutation including Li-Fraumeni Syndrome
  • Brain Tumours and Soft Tissue Sarcomas
  • Haematopoeitic stem cell transplantation

Selected publications:

  1. Yeoh AE, Ariffin H, Chai EL, et al. Minimal Residual Disease–guided treatment deintensification for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Results from the Malaysia-Singapore Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 2003 Study. J Clin Oncol 2012 ; 30(19): 2384-2392 
  2. Ariffin H, Hainaut P, Puzio-Kuter A, et al. Whole-genome sequencing analysis of phenotypic heterogeneity and anticipation in Li–Fraumeni cancer predisposition syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Science  2014 ; 111(43): 15497 – 501 
  3. Ariffin H, Azanan MS, Abd-Ghafar SS, et al. Young adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia show evidence of chronic inflammation and cellular aging. Cancer 2017; 123 : 4207-4214 
  4. Rajagopal R, et al. Challenges of Treating Childhood Medulloblastoma in a Country With Limited Resources: 20 Years of Experience at a Single Tertiary Center in Malaysia. J Glob Oncol. 2016 Jun 15;3(2):143-156
  5. Yeoh AEJ,…, Ariffin H. Intensifying Treatment of Childhood B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia With IKZF1 Deletion Reduces Relapse and Improves Overall Survival: Results of Malaysia-Singapore ALL 2010 Study. J Clin Oncol 2018 ; 36(26): 2726-2735 

The team’s on-going research activities in 2018/2019 are as listed below :

  • “Bereaved parents of children with a life-limiting illness: their experience on health care received” - a qualitative study in collaboration with the Department of Primary Care Medicine, University Malaya
  • “Empowering Parents To Manage Pain In Children With Severe Neurological          Impairment Through A Mobile-based Information Technology (IT) Pain Education Programme” - a collaboration with the Paediatric Neurology Unit and is funded by a grant from the International Association for the Study of Pain Developing Countries project; Initiatives for Improving Pain Education. 
  • “Children with life-limiting illnesses: symptom burden and challenges in symptom control” - a collaboration with Ministry of Health hospitals and is funded by the University Malaya Faculty Research grant


  • Lecture to Masters of Nursing Students, UM - Health Assessment: Infants, Children & Adolescents: 5/3/2018: 2.00pm - 5.00pm, FOM
  • PNU 2018 - Masterclass instructor: Interactive session - Neurology & Developmental Paediatrics - The Child with delayed development: bedside approach and current recommendations, 16/8/2018, Johor.
  • 40th MPA Congress – Invited speaker: two talks: (1) Different treatment modalities in the child with autism, Symposium 5 (Autism spectrum disorders), 6 September 2018, Ipoh, Perak. (2) Managing the child with ADHD, Meet the Expert Session 2, 7 September 2018, Ipoh, Perak.
  • Paediatric Postgraduate Course 2018 - Eating Disorders in Adolescents: 1 Nov 2018, FOM.
  • Autism & Feeding Issues Lecture: Paediatrics Track – Annual National Specialist Summit 2018/2019 – Double Tree Hilton, Malacca, Fonterra). Date: 11 November 2018.


  • Early Career Committee (ECC) Member, INSAR (Post: Global Outreach Officer): 2017 – 2019
  • ECC Rapid Research Rounds at the International Society of Autism Research (INSAR) 2018 Meeting – helped organize and participated
  • Global Representative Initiative Pilot, by the ECC – helped organise
  • Mentorship Initiative – 10th May 2018 till May 2019: paired with Prof. Sally Ozonoff, UC Davis MIND, Sacramento, USA.


  1. TWO PATIENT AWARENESS POSTERS - for the Autism awareness month (University of Malaya Specialist Centre, UMSC). Date: April 2018.
  2. TWO PATIENT AWARENESS POSTERS - for the Autism awareness month (Developmental Clinic, UMMC). Date: April 2018.
  3. ONE SLIDE PRESENTATION FOR PATIENT AWARENESS - Autism awareness month (University of Malaya Specialist Centre, UMSC). Date: April 2018.
  1. The first Genetic counselling clinic in Malaysia was started in University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in 1995, at the Polyclinic E, University Hospital (then) haded by Dr Thong Meow Keong. Below is an example of a printout of clinic list of patients which received genetic counselling.
  2. The first patient with lysosomal disease in Southeast Asia was treated with enzyme replacement therapy in UMMC in mid 1990s onwards. 
  3. The Genetics and Metabolism Unit within the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya  was invited and given the honour to witness the inauguration of the Eijkmann Institute for Molecular Biology in Indonesia on the 19th September 1995 by H.E. President of the Republic of Indonesia. 
  4. Prof Thong was a senior Fellow in Clinical Genetics in Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia. He was the first Malaysian to be board-certified as a clinical geneticist by the Human Genetics Society of Australasia in July 2000. Following his return to UM, the medical genetics curriculum for the undergraduate MBBS program in UM was revamped to reflect current trends in medical education such as using problem-based learning and role-playing in genetic counselling. Over 3000 medical graduates, nursing and biomedical students in UM had exposure to clinical genetics over the past 20 years. Annually over 1000 patients are followed up at the Genetics clinic UMMC. 
  5. Training and supervision of clinical practicum for genetic counsellor was started in 2004 in UMMC in conjunction with the Human Genetics  Society of Australasia with Malaysian graduates from University of Melbourne and University of Sydney Australia.  Currently 2 genetic counsellors have completed their studies and are board-certified genetic counsellors. Another 3 more students are currently under supervision.
  6. Professor Thong Meow Keong, the Head of the Genetics and Metabolism Unit of UMMC, was invited by the joint World Health Organization (WHO)-March of Dimes to Geneva, Switzerland on the 16th – 19th May 2006 to prepare the monograph “Management of Birth Defects and Haemoglobin Disorders” with other world experts and clinical geneticists
  7. The Genetics and Metabolism Unit UMMC and Department of Software Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology University of Malaya  were awarded the GOLD Medal, for the invention “MyChild – A computer-aided system for the monitoring of Growth and Development in Children & Pedigree Analysis” at the I.TEX 2007 (18th International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition), Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, 18th – 20th May 2007
  8. Prof Dr Thong Meow Keong, Head of the Genetics and Metabolism Unit UMMC was awarded the Australia-Malaysia Fellowship Research Excellence 2006 by the Australia-Malaysia Institute by His Excellency Mr James Wise on the 19th December 2006 at the Residence of the Australian High Commissioner. Over the past 20 years, over 5 books and  nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications on genetic diseases and inherited conditions were published from the Genetics and Metabolism Unit. Many of these were novel condition such as Southeast Asian ovalocytosis with distal renal tubular acidosis and citrin deficiency.
  9. Prof Thong was awarded the Fulbright Scholar Award by the Fulbright Commission, US Department of State, 1st November 2003 – 31st January 2004 and was the Visiting Fulbright Scholar to the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. He later contributed a book chapter entitled “Birth Defects, Genetics and the Last Best Hope on Earth” In: Suseela Malakolunthu and Asma Abdullah (Editors) Fulbright Chronicles: American Experience, Malaysian Perspective.  University of Malaya Press 2010.
  10. In 2010, for the first time in UMMC history, the Genetic Medicine Unit was officially established to cover all aspects of medical genetics in UMMC. Prof Thong was appointed the head and Prof Aishah Taib from the Breast Unit, Department of Surgery was the deputy head. An associate genetic counsellor, Ms Rifhan was appointed. Other services included cancer genetics, adult genetics and reproductive genetics counselling. A genetic nurse was also allocated to the Genetic Medicine Unit with its new office located at Level 8, Paediatrics building
  11. Prof Thong, Head of the Genetics and Metabolism Unit co-authored with Ms Chin Nyok Foo the book entitled “Rare Journeys of Love” published by the Malaysian Rare Disorders Society in 2011, the first Malaysian support group for rare diseases based in UMMC where Prof Thong is the national advisor since 2004. The book is a collection of 10 extraordinary stories of patients and their families living with a rare disease. In addition a booklet entitled “What is Down syndrome?” was also published in conjunction with the Kiwanis Down syndrome Centre in Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin. These were written by Prof Thong and assisted by Ms Juliana Lee, Ms Rifhan and Dr Tan Lay Teng. 
  12. Prof Thong, Head of the Genetics and Metabolism Unit UMMC was given the honour to organize the 12th Asia-Pacific Conference of Human Genetics in Kuala Lumpur and was elected President of the Asia-Pacific Society of Human Genetics 2012-2015, an honour for UMMC as Prof Thong is the first Malaysian to hold this post. 
  13. Trainees from Master of Pathology (USM) and Master of Paediatrics (UM) are provided with regular 3-month posting and rotation at the Genetics clinic in UMMC. Over 100 postgraduate paediatric trainees have undergone rotations over the past 15 years  
  14. The expanded newborn screening for inborn errors of metabolism using heel prick and dried blood spot analysis with tandem mass spectrometry was officially launched in UMMC by the Genetic Medicine Unit in collaboration with Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology UM and Department  of Pathology UM in 2015. This is the first public hospital in Malaysia to have this as a routine service.
  15. Dr Azlina Ahmad Annuar, lecturer of the Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine (FOM) UM and Prof Thong, of the Genetic Medicine Unit, UMMC  organized the annual “Jeans for Genes Day Malaysia” celebration on the 25th September 2016. The event  was entered in the Malaysia Book of Records for the “Longest Jeans DNA Double Helix Formation”. Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of FOM UM received the award on behalf of UMMC and UM.
  16. Prof Thong of the Genetics and Metabolism Unit UMMC was awarded the Fellow of the Academy of Science Malaysia (FASc) in May 2017 for his expertise and contribution to the field of genetics and genomic medicine in Malaysia over 20 years. This included teaching, research and service for patients with genetic conditions.
  17. The Genetic Medicine Unit UMMC and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) signed an agreement to jointly co-organized the annual Clinical Genetics and Genomics certificate course in UM starting from July 2017. Speaker were from UM, CUHK and Baylors College of Medicine USA.
  18. Prof Thong, Head of the Genetic Medicine Unit completed the inaugural Harvard Medical School “Southeast Asia Leadership in Healthcare” program in Boston, USA in March 2018. Prof Thong focused on “Expanded newborn screening” as the quality development project for his Capstone project.

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of University of Malaya Medical Centre provides care for critically ill newborn infants requiring intensive as well as high dependency/special care. The NICU is equipped with 12 intensive care beds for the sickest of infants, 13 step-down and 4 rooming-in beds which allow mothers to care for their babies before baby is discharged home. Supported by neonatologists and medical officers, care in the NICU is delivered by a dedicated staff of trained neonatal nurses. The NICU team is committed to deliver good quality clinical care to ill babies by prioritising research and evidence-based medicine.


  1. Treatment and care for newborns who require Level III neonatal intensive care including high-risk infants, premature infants and congenital malformations (congenital birth defects).
  2. Intensive care support to newborns with complex medical conditions encompassing cardiac, neurology, respiratory and gastro-intestinal conditions who require further medical or surgical/neurosurgical intervention. 
  3. Provide developmental care for optimisation of growth and development of growing preterm infants and infants with congenital malformations. 
  4. Provide antenatal and postnatal counselling for high risk pregnancy and infants. 
  5. Outpatient Sevices: Provide follow-up of high-risk infants and premature infants. 
  6. Collaborative research in neonatology or related fields.

Conferences, Courses and Educational Programmes

  1. Kuala Lumpur International Neonatology Conference (KLINC) – Co-organised with the Perinatal Society of Malaysia and the Academy of Medicine Malaysia College of Paediatrics (AMMCOP).  This premier biennial neonatal conference is led by the University of Malaya neonatal team and brings the best neonatal teachers from around the world to update the region’s neonatologists and paediatricians. Its robust and diverse scientific content has attracted attendance of the region’s neonatologists in sharing ideas and research of pertinent neonatal matters. 
  2. Neonatal Resuscitation Programme. Aimed to educate health care providers on effective resuscitation of the newborn at the time of delivery. Organised bimonthly. 
  3. S.T.A.B.L.E. Programme - Neonatal education program to focus exclusively on post-resuscitation/pre-transport stabilization care of sick infants. Organised annually.
  4. PEARLS of Knowledge Seminar and Workshop for Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. Workshop series aimed to educate the neonatal nurse on clinical procedures and effective delivery of care to the sick neonate. 
  5. Neonatal Management Workshop (Bengkel Perawatan Neonat). Lectures aimed to educate the general nurse on care of the sick infant. Organised annually.


World Prematurity Day Celebration. Organised to support ex-premature graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit, this programme re-unites our preemie graduates and their families with the NICU staff.

Malaysian SuperPreemies Run. Held in conjunction with World Prematurity Day in November, this programme aims to create public awareness regarding complications of prematurity.

HUGS (Healing Unimaginable Grief with Support) Programme. This newly initiated programme supports bereavement of parents and families.

Future Plan

Genetics and Metabolism Unit

  1. The Genetics and Metabolism Unit will further expand over the next 5 years to cover genetic services for the whole of University of Malaya Medical Centre under the Genetic Medicine Unit which reports to the UMMC Deputy Director’s office. There are plans for more posts to be made available for additional 3 specialists in clinical genetics and three genetic counsellors as the clinic attendance are increasing by 10-20% annually. It is also expected more areas such as feto-maternal medicine, surgery and internal medicine will be seeing more genetic patients and many new genomic tests will be introduced
  2. There is also plan for a Centre for Personalised Medicine and Genetic Therapeutics in the future where new pharmaceuticals and medications used for genetic and metabolic conditions can be established, both for research and education purposes as well as services for patients
  3. The Genetic and Metabolism Unit will actively engage various stakeholders to improve care for patients for rare diseases, including allocations for investigations and treatment and advocating for their rights. Hence more educational and advocacy events will be organized. Genetic counselling and more clinical genomics courses will be held.

Paediatric Cardiology Unit

  • Future service: Cardiac surgery service for congenital heart defect

Paediatric Endocrinology Unit

  1. We are planning to get Hba1c finger-prick service available for our children with diabetes. The plan is to reduce unnecessary venous blood sampling to improvise quality of life in these group of children.
  2. To get more funds to help children with growth problems - Growth Hormones are relatively expansive and majority of our patients are unable to afford due to lack of funds from the government.
  3. To get involvement of a child psychologist to work with the team and provide care for children with chronic illness.
Last Updated: 05/11/2019