Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Malaysian-Singaporean Expert Group Meeting on Pneumococcal Vaccination

I just returned from an Expert meeting on Pneumococcal diesease over the weekend. This meeting comprised of a small group of Doctors from Malaysia and Singapore whose main goal is to provide a forum to enable experts from both countries to share and exchange knowledege, clinical experience and insights in order to improve the management of pneumococcal disease and vaccination.

Chairing the meeting was Assoc Prof Daniel Goh, Chief of Paediatrics from NUH's University Children's Medical Institute and in attendence were specialists from both countries in Microbiology, Epidemiology and Paediatrics. I was one of two GPs who have been invited to be part of the expert panel to share our experience of pneumococcal vaccination in the general practice setting.

This meeting emphasized the need for more children to be vaccinated from the pneumococcal disease. Prof Daniel shared that the importance of vaccinating children from birth was important because by 6 months of age, a significant proportion of children will already have developed carrier status. That means that they carry the bacteria in their nose and throat where it might one day be activated and cause infections such as meningitis and pneumonia. By vaccinating the baby at 2 month, you reduce the risk of the child becoming a carrier.

A lot of information has been shared and these will be used in subsequent campaigns to educate the public on the importance of vaccinating kids with the pneumococcal vaccine.

Click here to read my last post on pneumococcal disease.

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