2nd Malaysian recipient of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) – International Labour Organization (ILO) Master Fellowship Award

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) – International Labour Organization (ILO) Master Fellowship Award is an effort by the ICOH and ILO to offer the fellowship is to enable members of the ICOH from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) to enhance their knowledge and skills in occupational safety and health. The Master in Occupational Safety and Health is a programme developed in partnership between the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO), and Turin School of Development, and University of Turin, Italy, the International Labour Office and the ICOH. The Master in Occupational Safety and Health is recognised by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals in the United States. The holder of the diploma who have met all the current Certified Safety Professionals® (CSP) eligible requirement, will not be required to take the BCSP Associate Safety Professional® (ASP) examination, and can proceed to take the BCSP CSP examination.

The ICOH-ILO Master Fellowship Award is awarded to two ICOH members in good-standing from LMIC who have presented a scientific contribution at the triennial ICOH congress. The fellowship provides partial economic support, equivalent to a grant of €4345 which will cover the accommodation and breakfast on the campus of the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin (ITC-ILO), Italy during the residential phase of 11 weeks. The ICOH-ILO Master Fellowship was first awarded during the 31st ICOH congress held at the COEX Convention Centre in Seoul Korea in 2015.

During the 34th International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) congress, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, Dr Lim Yin Cheng, a medical lecture from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya was one of two awardees for the Fellowship, for his presentation titled “Respirators fit test panel representing population of Malaysia”. Dr Lim YC is also our Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health alumni. He was the second Malaysian winner for the fellowship, following Prof Victor Hoe who received it in 2015.

Dr Lim’s project started during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main reason for starting this initiative was that quite a large proportion of the healthcare personnel in Selangor did not pass the N-95 fit test. Main hypothesis was the sizes of respirators, including N-95 was designed based on the dimensions of the American and Chinese population and may not be appropriate for Malaysian.

The project was divided into four parts, with over 3000 participants from different parts of Malaysia. The first part was to determine the reliability and accuracy of 2D photogrammetry with direct measurement. The second part involved creating a head and facial morphology database for Malaysia, with the aim of identifying morphological disparities between genders, races and age. The third part was to create new RFTPs utilising Malaysian data. Finally, the project sought to evaluate the association between various brands of NIOSH-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) that fit facial measurements and gender. The findings are significant for Malaysia because it is the first to create our own facial panels based on the head and facial anthropometry of the Malaysian population, implying that respirators designed to fit these newly create panels will likely accommodate majority of the Malaysian population. This project led to the publishing of four ISI Q1 and Q2 publications.

List of Publications:

  1. Lim YC, Abdul Shakor AS, Shaharudin R. Reliability and Accuracy of 2D Photogrammetry: A Comparison With Direct Measurement. Front Public Health. 2022 Jan 25;9:813058. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.813058
  2. Lim YC, Abdul Shakor AS, Mohamad N, Pahrol MA, Ismail R, Chong ZL, Abdul Mutalip MH, Omar MA, Danaee M, Wan GT, Shaharudin R. Head and face anthropometric study for respirators in the multi-ethnic Asian population of Malaysia. Front Public Health. 2022 Aug 26;10:972249. DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.972249
  3. Khairul Hasni NA, Ismail R, Muhamad Robat R, Mohamad N, Suib FA, Pahrol MA, Mahmud H, Osman B, Lim YC, Seman Z, Shaharudin R. The effect of N95 designs on respirator fit and its associations with gender and facial dimensions. PLoS One. 2023 Nov 29;18(11):e0288105. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0288105
  4. Lim YC, Soelar SA, Shakor ASA, Mohamad N, Pahrol MA, Ismail R, Danaee M, Shaharudin R. Respiratory fit test panel representing population of Malaysia. BMC Pulm Med. 2024 Mar 7;24(1):122. DOI: 10.1186/s12890-024-02919-9

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