The 23rd Asian Congress on Occupational Health 2023 in EXCO Daegu, Korea from November 22-25, 2023, with the theme “Healthy Work, Worthy Worker: From Basic Rights to the Sustainable Future”. The event was organised by the Korean Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It is a trienial event by the Asian Association of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Malaysia (AOEMM) sent a large contingent to the ACOH2023. It was led by Dr Abu Hasan Samad the President of AOEMM. The other members included Dr Abed Onn, Vice-President, Dr Sathya Subramaniam, Honorary Secretary, Professor Dr Victor Hoe, Censor in Chief, Dr Edwin Ho, council member, Prof Dr Retneswari Masilamani, council member, Professor Dr KG Rampal, Chairman of the Board of Examiner, Dr Jaseema Begum, member, and Ms Hema Latha Sivalingam and Ms Sharifah Shahidah Binti Syed Ahmad (Sherry), executive.
There were seven keynote addresses, eight parallel symposiums with 34 papers, 10 parallel oral sessions with 60 papers, and 60 poster presentations. The proceedings were published in the Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Vol 35 – Supplement).
The keynotes topics included “Translating knowledge into action: technological innovations in occupational safety and health” by Prof Dr David Koh for the National University of Singapore, “Challenges and achievements of occupational health in Korea” by EunA Kim from the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Incheon, Korea, “New challenges in the traditional industry and the need for international cooperation” by Muchtaruddin Mansyur from Occupational Medicine Study Program, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia, “Occupational cancer epidemiology – why we need more evidence” by Ann Olsson from the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization (IARC/WHO), Lyon, France, “Why long workhours harm health and gender equality: insights from Australia and Germany” by Lyndall Strazdins from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, “Occupational health and safety situation among marginalized workers in Thailand: a case study of immigrant and electronic waste dismantling labors” by Kowit Nambunmee from Urban Safety Innovation Research Group (USIR), Department of Occupational Health and Safety, School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand, and “Development of a web-based participatory workplace improvement program for the primary prevention of mental health issues in small and medium-sized enterprises” by Toru Yoshikawa from National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan (JNIOSH), Kiyose, Japan.
The AOEMM organised one of the Symposium, the topic was on “Building a Resilient and Supportive Workplace: Strategies for Prioritizing Mental Health” which highlighted the importance of mental health at work and provided some measure that could be taken by employers to manage and improve mental health at the workplace. Professor Dr Victor Hoe presented his paper on “Mental Health: taking care of the caring profession”.
Prof Dr Victor Hoe was also the Chair for the “Occupational Health Nursing and Burden of Disease” oral session.
The four days congress provided a very contusive environment for networking and meeting new and old friends. The papers discussed during the congress highlighted the issue and development of occupational health in the Asian regions.
The 24th Asian Congress on Occupational Health 2026 (ACOH 2026) will be held in Kuching, Sarawak and will be organised by the Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Malaysia (AOEMM).