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Malaysian Medical Superwoman Is The First Asian To Become International AIDS Society President

Malaysian Medical Superwoman Is The First Asian To Become International AIDS Society President

Kirat Kaur

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Professor Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman has just been appointed president of the International AIDS Society (IAS). The Malaysian infectious disease expert is the first Asian to head the global organisation.

Dr Adeebam, who is an adjunct associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine and dean at University Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine, was named IAS president-elect last year and will take over the role of president from 2020 until 2022.

As IAS President, Dr Adeeba will be heading the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members in more than 170 countries, to drive for urgent action in reducing the impact of HIV.

Her ascension to the prestigious role comes as little surprise to the local medical field as she is well-known for having dedicated her career to the prevention, treatment and research of infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS.

In fact, she was the pioneer who established the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

Universiti Malaya Medical Centre.
(Credit: Saddam Yusoff/NSTP)

In 2007, Dr. Kamarulzaman established the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) at University Malaya, one of the few dedicated HIV research centres in the region that conducts multi-disciplinary research on HIV ranging from clinical to public health and policy research.

Amongst her long list of distinguished  accolades and roles include president of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, Executive Council member of the Malaysian AIDS Council, member of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel on HIV and the Co-Chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) on HIV.

Dr Adeeba at the Malaysian AIDS Foundation Gala Dinner in 2018.
(Credit: Malaysian AIDS Foundation/Facebook)

Needless to say, she is well regarded by her peers as a catalyst in improving the medical field, particularly in the fight against AIDS.

From HIV to Covid-19

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, she has joined the global fight in finding a cure for the viral disease – embarking on a clinical study at four hospitals to evaluate a drug to treat severe cases.

The clinical study to evaluate the drug Tocilizumab for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19 has been underway since April 2020 at UMMC, Hospital Sungai Buloh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Seremban’s Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Hospital.

(Credit: Malay Mail)

Even the United States Ambassador to Malaysia, Kamala Shirin Lakhdir, made a special note of Dr Adeeba’s contribution in a letter to the New Straits Times.

From Malaysia, she is working closely with her colleagues at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, showcasing the semangat inovasi that is essential to defeating this disease.

Kamala Shirin Lakhdir, United States Ambassador to Malaysia via NST.

Now, it’s time for Malaysians to celebrate this medical superwoman and her achievements as well.

Congratulations Dr Adeeba!


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