Inaugural PH@UM Global Health Series Talk by Professor Dr Mathuram Santosham from Johns Hopkins University

The Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence-based Practice, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya was fortunate to host Professor Dr Mathuram Santosham from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, the USA on the 6 March 2019 for a talk as part of the PH@UM Global Health Series lecture. Prof Santosham spoke on “Global Contributions of Native American Populations towards Child Survival”, the talk saw Professor Santhosham discussing a host of his career experiences. Some examples include working with Native American communities to promote the use of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), as well as conducting vaccine efficiency trials including rotavirus vaccine, H. influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine among the community.

In addition to being the current Director Emeritus of the Center for American Indian Health at Johns Hopkins University, Professor Santosham is known internationally for his work on oral rehydration therapy and childhood vaccines. Attendees listened in as he described some of the challenges he faced throughout his career, such as cultural differences with various Native American populations, as well as political climates that were roadblocks in the way of efforts to roll out Hib conjugate vaccines. Professor Santosham, however, did encourage attendees to “aim high and far”, and to also “have clear objectives” in the pursuit of their careers.

Following the talk, the postgraduate students from the Department attended a “Life’s Lessons” sharing session with Professor Santosham at the department’s conference room. Over lunch, they got to speak further with Professor Santosham in a more intimate setting.

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