The Director of the Digital Health Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia

I am happy to have been appointed as the Director of the Digital Health Division at the Ministry of Health Malaysia. This is a tremendous honor and a significant milestone in my career journey.

I owe a profound debt of gratitude to my Alma Mater, the University of Malaya, where I pursued my masters and doctorate in public health. The rigorous and comprehensive program at UM not only deepened my understanding of public health principles but also equipped me with the analytical skills and research expertise necessary for addressing complex health challenges.

I am immensely grateful to my professors and mentors at UM, whose guidance and mentorship have been invaluable in shaping my professional journey. Their commitment to excellence and passion for public health have inspired me to strive for excellence in all endeavours.

As Sir Winston Churchill said, “success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts”. This truly describes my experience completing this journey and I attribute this entirely to Associate Professor Dr Rafdzah Ahmad Zaki and Datuk Professor Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud for their supervision. This endeavour would not have been possible without their support, guidance and encouragement. Words cannot express my deepest gratitude to them and thank you for believing in me.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation also to Professor Dr Victor Ho Chee Wai Abdullah, Professor Dr Sanjay Rampal, Professor Dr Ng Chiu Wan and Professor Dr Maznah Dahlui for constantly supporting and guiding me. Their words of wisdom and encouragement was a source of motivation for me. I am also extremely grateful to Ms Nur Hashimah Kaman Redzawan and Ms Suhaili Suboh for their assistance and constant support administratively.

As I embark on this new role, I carry with me the lessons and insights gained during my time at UM. I am confident that the foundation laid during my doctoral studies will serve as a solid framework for driving innovation and progress in digital health initiatives.

Thank you, Social and Preventive Medicine Department, University of Malaya, for providing me with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that have enabled me to make a meaningful contribution to public health in Malaysia.

The article is written by Dr Maheshwara Rao Appannan, our Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health alumni.

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